The Bearcats (8-3, 6-1 American Athletic) limited Temple to just three field goal tries all game, forcing eight punts while making two second-quarter touchdowns stand for their sixth straight win.
Later in the second, Mike Boone capped a nine-play drive with three straight carries for 14, 4 and 1 yards.
Temple's Austin Jones kicked field goals of 30 and 31 yards, but missed from 27 in the third quarter when the Owls (5-6, 3-4) recovered a fumbled kickoff.
Cincinnati, Central Florida and Memphis are knotted at 6-1 in conference. Cincinnati's appeared in bowl games seven of the last eight years.