The final undefeated college football team at the FBS level — Cincinnati — lost for the first time during the 2021 college football season in the 2021 College Football Playoff semifinals in the Cotton Bowl to No. 1 Alabama, 27-6. The Bearcats finished the season with a 13-1 record.
Playing then-No. 21 Houston (11-1) in the AAC Championship Game, Cincinnati kept its then-perfect record alive with a 35-20 win in Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats found themselves in an early hole but led 14-10 after the first quarter, then scored 21 points in the third quarter to pull away from the Cougars.
Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford had 18 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Desmond Ridder had an efficient performance as he completed 11-of-17 attempts for 190 yards and three scores.
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