Andrew /Gantz 37-yard field goal with four seconds left in the first half sent the teams into the locker room tied at 10.
Houston scored first on a 39-yard pass from Greg Ward Jr. to Allen Chance.
Cincinati responded five plays later when Hayden Moore connected with Devin Gray on a 61-yard pass with 6:12 left in the first quarter. It was Gray's first career touchdown.
With Houston driving late in the second quarter. Ward completed a pass to Duke Catalon that lost two yards. Catalon lateralled to Isaiah Johnson, who ran it 18 yards but fumbled it at the Cincinnati 17. Grant Coleman, who earlier had his first career interception, recovered at the Cincinnati 13 and returned it to the Houston 34. A facemask penalty took the ball to the Houston 19.
After two failed passes, the Bearcats elected to kick the tying field goal.
Cincinnati had 159 yards of offense with just 12 on the ground.
Houston had 263 yards with 80 rushing and 183 in the air.
Houston will recieve the second half kick off.