Virginia Tech will play the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Military Bowl on Monday, December 31. The game will be played in Annapolis, MD at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon, and the game will be televised by ESPN.
Cincinnati had a great season, going 10-2, with their only two blemishes coming at the hands of Temple and unbeaten UCF. The Bearcats won their only game against Power 5 competition this season, defeating UCLA 26-17 in the first game of the season. However, the Bruins finished just 3-9 this year. Former Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell coaches Cincinnati.
The Bearcats are led by tailback Michael Warren, who rushed for 1,163 yards, as well as dual threat quarterback Desmond Ridder. Ridder completed 62.5% of his passes for 2,359 yards, with 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He also ran for 574 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll be one of the more difficult matchups at quarterback that the Hokies have faced this year. Offensive tackle Dino Boyd was a First Team All-AAC selection.
Defensively, Cincinnati ranks No. 8 nationally in rushing defense, No. 25 in pass defense, and No. 8 in total defense. Defensive tackle Cortez Broughton had 17.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks on the season, and was a first-team All-AAC selection. Defensive tackle Marquise Copeland, defensive end Kimoni Fitz, and safety James Wiggins were all Second Team All-AAC picks.
This is the second time the Hokies will face Cincinnati in the Military Bowl. Virginia Tech beat the Bearcats 33-17 at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
We’ll have much more coverage of Cincinnati as we get closer to the game.