The Bearcats Win 11 For A Second Straight Season
Coming into Thursday’s Birmingham Bowl one big question faced Cincinnati. Would they we able to put the disappointment of not playing in a bigger game behind them and concentrate on business? The answer was a resounding yes as Cincinnati blasts Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl 38-6.
Desmond Ridder Was The Star
A season ago, Ridder injured his leg and missed most of the Military Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. However this season the sophomore had quite the game. Early in the first quarter the game was delayed for 91 minutes due to lightning. For many Boston College players and coaches it was deja vu as last season’s First Responder Bowl was cancelled due to weather.
Following the delay Cincinnati came out strong building a 17-0 lead at the half. The main reason behind that was the play of Ridder. He finished the game with 105 yards rushing and three touchdowns. In the process he set school bowl records for both scoring and rushing touchdowns. In addition he threw for another score and to no great surprise was named MVP.
— TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl (@Birmingham_Bowl) January 3, 2020
Another UC player with a great game was running back Michael Warren II who rushed for 105 yards as well. For the game Cincinnati ran for 343 yards.
The Defense Came Up Big
Coming into the Birmingham Bowl Boston College was without two of its biggest offensive weapons. The ACC’s leading rusher A.J. Dillon skipped the game to concentrate on the upcoming NFL Draft. Furthermore starting quarterback Anthony Brown was out due to a knee injury.
As a result the Eagles could only muster 164 yards of total offense and eight first downs. In addition they went 0-11 on third downs. Their only points came on a blocked field goal return for touchdown by Brandon Sebastian. At the end of the day Boston College clearly missed Dillon and couldn’t get anything going on offense. However a lot of that credit goes to the Cincinnati defense.
As we continue recapping Cincinnati’s romp in the Birmingham Bowl let’s look ahead to next season for both clubs.
Keeping The Momentum Going
With the victory Luke Fickell’s Bearcats finish 11-3, their second straight year with 11 wins. The only other time that happened in school history was 2008-2009 when Brian Kelly patrolled the sidelines.
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) January 3, 2020
Both Ridder and Warren return next season but Cincinnati has to replace tight end Josiah Deguara. In addition they lose quite a few players on defense most notably linebackers Bryan Wright and Perry Young.
At the end of the day the Bearcats should be near the top of the eastern division of the American Conference along with Central Florida. There’s a really good chance of facing Memphis again for the league title.
Building For The Future
The Eagles finish 2019 with a 6-7 record and closes out a very busy end of the season. Head coach Steve Addazio was fired after the season and wide receivers coach Rich Gunnell led the team in the Birmingham Bowl. Addazio went 44-44 in seven years at Boston College. Not only did Dillon skip the bowl game but Brown announced he was transferring for next year.
However their is room for excitement in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles already have their new head coach in former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.
The new journey now begins.
To the BC community, I'm now in and once again I ask all of you to #GetIn. Let's all do this together through Toughness, Love and by competing daily! I am humbled and proud to be your new head coach.#WeAreBC?
— Jeff Hafley (@CoachJeffHafley) December 29, 2019
With a new coach and many of their players returning Boston College fans look for improvement in 2020. The race for second place behind Clemson in the ACC’s Atlantic Division is wide open.
Again Cincinnati blasts Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl 38-6. Thanks for checking out this and all the other great content here at Last Word On College Football. As a reminder we’ll have previews and recaps of all the bowl games leading up to the National Championship match up between Clemson and LSU on January 13th.