Sports

Kiel throws for 2 TDs, Boone runs for 3 as Cincinnati beats Houston 38-31 for share of title

  • Cincinnati's quarterback Gunner Kiel passes against Houston during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Dec. 6, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

    Cincinnati's quarterback Gunner Kiel passes against Houston during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Dec. 6, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cincinnati coach Tommy Tubberville talks with players during the first half of their NCAA college football game against Houston, Saturday Dec. 6, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

    Cincinnati coach Tommy Tubberville talks with players during the first half of their NCAA college football game against Houston, Saturday Dec. 6, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cincinnati's Mike Boone, left, gets congratulated by DJ Dowdy after scoring a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Saturday Dec. 6, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

    Cincinnati's Mike Boone, left, gets congratulated by DJ Dowdy after scoring a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Saturday Dec. 6, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)  (The Associated Press)

Gunner Kiel threw for a pair of touchdowns before leaving again, and Mike Boone ran for three touchdowns as Cincinnati held on for a 38-31 victory over Houston on Saturday that that clinched a share of the American Athletic Conference championship.

Cincinnati (9-3, 7-1) finished in a three-way tie for the title. Memphis clinched part of the title last weekend, and Central Florida made it a split by beating East Carolina 32-30 on Thursday night with a 51-yard desperation pass at the end.

The Bearcats won their last seven games to earn a share of the title for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. Their previous ones came in the Big East.

Greg Ward Jr. ran 40 yards for a touchdown and threw for two more in the second half, but Houston (7-5, 5-3) couldn't stop Cincinnati's passing game even after Kiel left early in the third quarter.