Corey Kiner rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries to lead Cincinnati to a 27-21 win over host Pitt on Saturday.
Emory Jones went 18-of-26 passing for 125 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Bearcats (2-0).
Phil Jurkovec completed 10 of 32 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns for the Panthers (1-1).
Cincinnati led 27-7 going into the fourth quarter before the Panthers scored two touchdowns to make it a 27-21 game.
But the Cincinnati defense shut down the Pitt offense from there, and Kiner rushed for a first down with just over a minute remaining to seal the game.
The Bearcats took a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Payten Singletary, and then went up 10-0 with 8:57 left in the first quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Carter Brown.
Pittsburgh cut its deficit to 10-7 with 4:17 left in the first on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jurkovec to Konata Mumpfield, but Cincinnati answered.
The Bearcats drove 76 yards in seven plays and took a 17-7 lead with 13:20 remaining in the second quarter on a 7-yard TD run by Kiner.
Brown then made a 47-yard field goal with five seconds left until halftime to make it 20-7 Cincinnati.
Cincinnati extended its lead to 27-7 with 9:17 left in the third quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Braden Smith.
The Panthers cut into the lead early in the fourth quarter, making it 27-14 thanks to a 9-yard scoring strike from Jurkovec to Mumpfield with 14:48 left.
Pittsburgh then closed to within 27-21 on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jurkovec to Gavin Bartholomew with 11:53 remaining, a score that was set up by a 60-yard pass from Jurkovec to Bartholomew to start the drive.
Mumpfield finished with four catches for 53 yards and the two scores for Pitt. Smith had five catches for 59 yards and the TD for the Bearcats.
—Field Level Media