The Hurricanes won by holding on the goal line in the last second in Miami.
An Orange Bowl crowd of 18,447 -- smallest in two years -- watched the game under partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the 80s.
Miami finished 7-4, Cincinnati 6-5.
Jeff Davis kicked four field goals for Miami, three of them in the first half. Speedy Neal, a 6-3, 245-pound junior, helped by rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. He ran for 95 of his team-high total in the first half and the Hurricanes led at intermission, 16-6.
Davis' fourth field goal, a 19-yarder, put the Hurricanes ahead, 19-6, with 12:02 to play, and Miami seemed an easy winner.
But Don Goodman of Cincinnati plunged a yard for a touchdown with 1:32 left, then quarterback Danny Barrett led the Bearcats within a yard of victory as time ran out.
Cincinnati's Scott Ivy recovered an onside kick at midfield after Goodman's score.
Barrett and flanker Lamont Patterson teammed on a pass play covering 24 yards to the Miami 26. Two plays later, Jason Stargel caught a pass for eight more yards.
Barrett, facing fourth and two, passed to Patterson along the left sideline for a first down at the eight.
Miami's Rodney Bellinger was caught interfering with a receiver in the end zone and that put the ball on the one.
But the Bearcats had no timeouts left. First Goodman, then Barrett plunged for the yard needed to win, but neither got it, and time ran out.
Neal, who ran four yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, became the first Miami runner to gain more than 100 yards in a game since Smokey Roan's school-record 249 yards against East Carolina in 1980.