CINCINNATI -- Gunner Kiel followed his six-touchdown debut by throwing for four more on Saturday night, and Cincinnati held on to beat Miami of Ohio 31-24 for its ninth straight victory over the southwest Ohio rival.
Kiel, who transferred from Notre Dame and sat out last season, tied the school record with six touchdown passes in his debut last week, a 58-34 win over Toledo. He had three in the first half on Saturday, putting Cincinnati (2-0) ahead to stay.
Miami fell to 0-4 under first-year coach Chuck Martin, who was Notre Dame's offensive coordinator. The RedHawks have lost 20 straight since a victory over Ohio on Oct. 27, 2012.
Cincinnati has lately dominated the second-oldest series in the FBS, which was played for the first time in 1888. The RedHawks kept it close and wasted a first-and-goal opportunity to pull even in the fourth quarter.
Kiel was 25 of 39 for 271 yards with two interceptions. He also ran eight times for 17 yards, taking advantage of a defense that dropped into pass coverage and left openings.
Miami's Andrew Hendrix completed 13 of 26 for 262 yards and two touchdowns, including a 74-yarder to David Frazier that opened the second half and kept it close. Frazier had five catches for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Cincinnati's defense held on at the end. The RedHawks drove to first-and-goal from the 1, but lost yards on three straight plays and missed the field goal try with 5:40 to go. Cincinnati ran out the clock.
The RedHawks led 14-7 in the second quarter, taking advantage of a Cincinnati defense that gave up 563 yards to Toledo. Hendrix threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Frazier, and Paul Moses broke several tackles during an 18-yard scoring run.
Kiel threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Chris Moore for Cincinnati's first lead, completing a 13-play drive. A Miami fumble set up his 7-yard pass to McKay with 31 seconds left in the half for a 24-14 lead.
Frazier caught Hendrix's pass on a slant pattern, sidestepped a defender and went 74 yards untouched to open the second half. Cincinnati's defense then asserted itself, stopping one drive with an interception near the goal line.
Kaleb Patterson's 49-yard field goal cut it to 31-24 early in the fourth quarter, but Miami couldn't pull even despite the first-and-goal chance.
Cincinnati freshman cornerback Alex Thomas missed his first game since an arrest that resulted in an indefinite suspension.
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