The 10-2 Cincinnati Bearcats have traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to take on Power 5 foe Virginia Tech for the Military Bowl. Cincinnati had a very exciting and promising season, while Virginia Tech was below expectations.
- Military Bowl
- When: December 31st, 12:00 EST
- Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium- Annapolis, MD
- How to watch: ESPN
- Spread: Cincy -5.5
- FPI: Cincy 56.6%
American Athletic “Coach of the Year” Luke Fickell has begun to get his own recruits, and has started to become the coach Cincy fans had hoped for. AAC “Rookie of the Year” Freshman QB Desmond Ridder has become a solid backfield partner to standout HB Michael Warren. The Cats had 10 1st or 2nd All-Conference players this season, good for the most since the magical top 10 2009 team. The Bearcats defense, tagged the “Blackcats” is far and away the best in the conference. The UC defense is 6th in the nation (1st in AAC) in scoring defense, 10th (1st) in total defense, 4th (1st) in 3rd down percentage, 12th (1st) in pass efficiency, and 9th (1st) in run defense. Those are some insane numbers, and they prove it week in and week out on the field.
The Hokies have nonetheless disappointed this season. From opening in the top 20, jumping to 13, and then losing to Old Dominion, VT has had a rollercoaster season. The Hokies would then find themselves back in the top 25, but get blown out on ABC at 8:00 prime-time… in front of their home crowd. The Hokies finished off losing 4 of 6, and found themselves going 6-6 to limp into this bowl game. Hokies Jr. QB Ryan Willis has had a solid year, and getting a big chunk of his passing yards to WR Damon Hazelton, who averaged 16.5 yards per catch, and is becoming one of the best deep threats in the ACC as only a sophomore. Virginia Tech had 0 first team all-conference players, and only 2 on the 2nd team (one being Damon Hazelton).
Since the turn of the century, these two teams have met 4 times (7 times in the 1900s), and 2 in the post season (1 in the 1900s), including an Orange Bowl in 2009.
- 2006 (Blacksburg, VA): Virginia Tech W 29-13
- 2008-09 (Orange Bowl- Miami, FL): Va Tech W 20-7
- 2012 (Washington D.C.): Cincy W 27-24
- 2014 (Military Bowl- Annapolis, MD): Va Tech W 33-17
But the most thrilling of the games was 2012, when the Bearcats scored with 13 seconds left to go ahead in the game. Here is a video for all of you to relive the great moment…
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) December 6, 2018
The Military Bowl Matchup
The Hokies defense gives up 436 yards per game, and about 200 per game on the ground game. Look for Bearcats RB Michael Warren to have a big game on the ground. Also, it will be complimented by Ridder’s strong ability to throw. The very experienced Cincinnati O-Line will do business on New Years Eve, and will be having steak dinners after the Bearcats hand it to Va Tech, by a score of 35-17.