MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Isaiah Pead ran for 149 yards and a touchdown, and Ralph David Abernathy IV’s 90-yard kickoff return early in the fourth quarter put Cincinnati ahead to stay as the Bearcats edged Vanderbilt 31-24 on Saturday in the Liberty Bowl.
The Bearcats (10-3) capped the season with their third straight victory by snapping a two-game skid in bowl games.
The Commodores (6-7) led 21-17 when Abernathy became the first Cincinnati player to return a kickoff for a TD in the program’s 13 bowl appearances.
Vandy’s Archibald Barnes blocked Tony Miliano’s 39-yard field goal with 3:58 left, giving the Commodores the ball with plenty of time to go ahead. Nick Temple picked off Larry Smith’s pass with 3:15 remaining, and Pead sealed the victory with a 12-yard TD run with 1:52 left.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.