2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Postgame Notes

Dec. 31, 2011

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UC vs. Vanderbilt 53rd AutoZone Liberty Bowl Dec. 31, 2011


CINCINNATI (10-3) 31, VANDERBILT (6-7) 24

Memphis, Tenn. Liberty Bowl Stadium 57,103


  • UC Captains: 12 Zach Collaros 37 JK Schaffer and the 2011 UC senior class.
  • LS Tom DeTemple (Moeller HS) carried the City of Cincinnati flag out of the tunnel.
  • UC snapped a two-game bowl losing streak and moved its all-time record to 7-6 in postseason bowl games.
  • The all-time series between Cincinnati and Vanderbilt is now tied at 4-4.
  • UC’s win over Vanderbilt was its first over a Southeastern Conference team since knocking off Kentucky, 24-3, on Sept. 7, 1996 inside Nippert Stadium.
  • UC had three takeaways (two interceptions and one fumble recovery), giving the Bearcats 33 on the season (16 interceptions, 17 fumble recoveries).
  • UC finished the season +12 in turnover margin, a year after ranking No. 119 in the country with a -15 turnover margin.
  • UC had two sacks and five tackles for a loss in the game, moving its season total to 46 and 112, respectively. UC entered the game leading the NCAA FBS in both sacks (3.58) and tackles for a loss (8.92).
  • Ralph David Abernathy IV’s 90-yard kickoff return TD in the fourth quarter was UC’s first return TD of any kind since Mardy Gilyard ran a kickoff back 99 yards at Pittsburgh on Dec. 5, 2009. It was UC’s first kickoff return TD in a bowl game and its first TD on a kick or punt return since the 1949 Glass Bowl when Gene Gibson ran a punt back 76 yards against Toledo.


  • UC QB Zach Collaros returned to the starting lineup after missing the final 3.5 games of the regular season due to a broken right ankle suffered against West Virginia on Nov. 12, 2011.
  • Collaros made a remarkable recovery, taking the field 47 days following surgery (Nov. 14).
  • Collaros’ start was his first appearance in a postseason bowl game at QB. He had previously played in the 2009 Orange Bowl on special teams.
  • Collaros finished the game 12-of-29 for 80 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
  • RB George Winn had a career-long 69-yard touchdown scamper with 14:17 left in the second quarter. The tackle-breaking, down-the-sideline run was the longest rush by a UC player this season and the third longest in AutoZone Liberty Bowl history. Winn was in the game due to RB Isaiah Pead having a broken chin strap.
  • Winn’s run was the longest rush in UC bowl history.
  • WR Anthony McClung hauled in an 8-yard pass from Collaros with 12 seconds left in the first half to give UC a 14-7 lead. For McClung, it marked his sixth receiving TD of the season.
  • WR Orion Woodard recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, giving UC the ball on VU’s 15-yard line. It was Woodard’s first fumble recovery of the season and second of his career.
  • DB Camerron Cheatham had his third interception of the year and the fourth of his career in the third quarter.
  • K Tony Miliano hit a 44-yard field goal with 14:41 left in the game to give UC a 17-14 lead. He is 8-of-12 on kicks of 40 or more yards this season.
  • KR Ralph David Abernathy IV ran a kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown. It was his first career return TD and the fifth-longest kickoff return in Liberty Bowl history.
  • RB Isaiah Pead set a UC bowl record with 149 yards rushing, his sixth 100-yard game of the season and 11th for his career. The record was previously held by DeMarco McCleskey who ran for 85 yards against North Texas in the 2002 New Orleans Bowl.
  • Pead’s six 100-yard games this season ranks tied for fourth all time, while his 11 career 100-yard games sixth-best all-time.
  • Pead closes out his career with 3,288 yards rushing, ranking him third best all time. His 27 career rushing TDs is the third-best mark all-time.
  • TE Adrien Robinson was UC’s leading receiver with four receptions.
  • LB J.K. Schaffer had nine tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss. He closes out his career as the active leading tackler in the BIG EAST Conference with 337 stops, a mark that ranks him ninth all time.
  • LB Nick Temple had a career-best eight tackles, a forced fumble and his first career interception.
  • WR D.J. Woods caught Vanderbilt’s onside kick attempt with 24 seconds left to close out the game.