Saturday marked the first game between UC and Duke. The Bearcats and Blue Devils had never met on the gridiron prior to Thursday, despite being two of the older programs in college football. UC (1885) is celebrating its 125th season of football while Duke (6-6, 3-5 ACC) has been playing since 1895.
UC has won two straight postseason games and moves to 8-6 all-time in bowl games.
UC is one of only four NCAA FBS AQ programs to have won 10 games in five of the past six seasons, joining Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon as teams who have achieved the mark.
UC has six double-digit win seasons in 125 years of football.
UC has won 65 games over the past seven seasons, the most among the current membership of the BIG EAST Conference.
Over the past two years, UC has gone 20-6, won a pair of BIG EAST titles and has won two bowl games, the 2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl and 2012 Belk Bowl.
UC wore red helmets in a game for the first time since 1982.
UC scored a rushing touchdown in 12 of 13 games this season.
The Bearcats intercepted 15 passes on the season
UC topped 425 yards of total offense in nine of 13 games this season.
Duke blocked a UC punt in the first quarter and Tony Foster returned it for a score. It was the first time UC had a punt blocked for a touchdown since Nov. 27, 2004 when Louisville's Tiger Jones returned a blocked punt for a TD.
UC’s offense averaged 10.5 yards per play against Duke and achieved its third-highest point total of 2012.
UC’s 332 yards passing was its second-highest total of the season.
UC blocked its third kick of the season on Duke's first extra point attempt.
After trailing 16-0 in the first quarter, UC led 17-16 and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of touchdowns in the final 44 seconds to earn the 48-34 win.
UC set school records for points scored in a bowl game (48), total offense (554 yds), fewest offensive plays (53) and tied the marks for most passing TDs (4) and most total TDs (5).
UC set or tied six Belk Bowl team records, including highest per play average (10.5), most passing TDs (4), highest yards per rush average (7.9), most points by the winning team (48), most turnovers forced (4) and tying the mark for most points in one quarter (21/WVU, 2008; Virginia, 2002).
The two teams combined to set or tie seven Belk Bowl records, including the marks for most combined points (82), first downs (54), total yards (1,114), pass completions (55), passing yards (692), yards penalized (107) while tying the record for most TD passes (6/WVU-UNC, 2008).
UC student-athletes set or tied seven Belk Bowl records including most net yards gained (408, Brendon Kay), most touchdowns (4, Kay), longest non-scoring pass and reception (55 yards, Kay to Anthony McClung), highest yards per catch average (36.7, McClung) and tied the mark for most PATs made (6) and attempted (6), both by Tony Miliano.
K Tony Miliano got UC on the board with a 45-yard field goal attempt with 1:43 remaining in the first quarter. It was the longest field goal in Belk Bowl history and Miliano’s seventh make of 45 yards or more this season. He added a 27-yarder in the third quarter and finished the season 17-of-22 and 5-for-5 from 20-29 yards.
George Winn carried 16 times for 130 yards and a TD, his sixth 100-yard rushing game of 2012. He closes out the season with 1,334 yards on 243 carries for 13 TDs. He tallied the second-best rushing season in school history, just 27 yards off DeMarco McCleskey’s 1,361 yards in 2002. Winn's 46-yard TD scamper was the longest TD run in Belk Bowl history.
QB Brendon Kay finished 17-of-25 for career-high 332 yards and a career-best four TD passes. He also added 76 yards rushing, his second game in 2012 tallying 70 or more rushing yards. Kay, the game's Most Valuable Player, completed the four TDs to four different receivers. Kay’s 408 yards of total offense was the eighth-best single-game effort in UC history.
Kay's four passing TDs tied a UC bowl record. QB Ben Mauk threw four TD passes against Southern Miss in the PapaJohns.com Bowl in 2007. Kay's 332 passing yards was two yards short of Mauk's record-setting mark of 334 against the Golden Eagles.
Kay and Kelce hooked up on the game winner, an 83 yarder down the seam with 44 seconds left in the game to give UC a 41-34 lead. It was both the longest scoring play and longest TD pass in Belk Bowl history. It was Kelce's eighth TD of the season, tying former UC standout Brent Celek for the most in a single season by a UC tight end.
Kelce finished the night with five catches for 123 yards and a TD, his second career 100-yard receiving game. Kelce was UC's leading receiver in 2012, finishing with 45 catches for 722 yards and eight scores.
Moments later, UC closed out the scoring on a 55-yard interception return by LB Nick Temple. Duke QB Sean Renfree was clobbered by LB Maalik Bomar as he threw, popping the ball up into Temple's hands. Bomar led the block party down the field and Temple had a game-clinching interception for the second straight year, also closed out the 2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl with a pick. The 55-yard run back was the second-longest interception return in Belk Bowl history. It was his first interception of the season, second of his career and first career TD.
LB Greg Blair set a UC bowl record with his game-high 15 tackles, his eighth game in 2012 with double-digit tackles.
Anthony McClung finished with three catches for 110 yards and a TD, his second career 100-yard receiving game.
DL Adam Dempsey blocked Duke's first extra point attempt, ending the Blue Devils NCAA leading 69 game streak without a missed PAT. Duke had made 186 consecutive attempts prior to the block, the second-longest streak in the NCAA.
Bomar finished with 10 tackles, his second double-digit tackles game of the season.
Looking ahead at the 2013 ledger, UC will play Boise State, Connecticut, Louisville, Purdue, Northwestern State and UCF at home while facing Illinois, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), Rutgers, San Diego State and USF on the road.
The BIG EAST Conference is scheduled to split into an east-west divisional alignment in 2013. UC will be in the East along with Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers, UCF and USF. Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU and Temple make up the West Division. A conference championship game will be played the last week of the regular season between the division winners on the campus of the squad with the better overall record.
The Bearcats open up the campaign with Purdue on Aug. 31, 2013 in Nippert. The following week, the Bearcats play their second-straight Big Ten Conference opponent, traveling to Champaign to meet Illinois. UC returns home on Sept. 14 to take on Northwestern State before closing out non-conference play on Sept. 21 against Miami (Ohio) in the 118th Battle for the Victory Bell in Oxford.