Football To Face Vanderbilt Saturday In 53rd AutoZone Liberty Bowl
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Dec. 27, 2011

     vs.  
No. 24 Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6)
Dec. 31, 2011 | 3:30 p.m. ET
Memphis, Tenn.
 | Liberty Bowl Stadium (62,000)
TV: ABC
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 Gameday Central

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL CENTRAL | AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL OFFICIAL WEBSITE

CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati football team has accepted a bid to play Vanderbilt University in the 53rd AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31, 2011 at Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. The game will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET and air on ABC. The Bearcats will be playing in their 13th bowl game and first since 2009. UC is 6-6 all-time in post-season games and will be making its first trip to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. UC won its third BIG EAST Championship in four years and is one of the most improved teams in the NCAA FBS after more than doubling its win total of four from a year ago.

GAME INFORMATION

  • Radio: 700 WLW AM
  • Satellite Radio: Sirius XM 84 (ESPN Radio)
  • Live Stats: GoBEARCATS.com
  • Internet Radio: 700wlw.com
  • Twitter: @GoBEARCATS
  • Series Record: VU leads 4-3
  • Last Meeting: 10/08/94 @UC (VU W, 34-24) 
  • At Neutral Sites: First Meeting

CINCINNATI BEARCATS

  • Rankings (AP/Coaches)rv/24
  • 2011 Record: 9-3, 5-2 BIG EAST
  • Last Game: Dec. 3, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio, UC defeated Connecticut 35-27
  • Head Coach: Butch Jones
  • Record at UC (Years): 13-11 (2nd)
  • Career Record (Years): 40-24 (5th)
  • vs. Vanderbilt: First Meeting

VANDERBILT COMMODORES

  • Rankings (AP/Coaches): na/na
  • 2011 Record: 6-6, 2-6 Southeastern
  • Last Game: Nov. 26, 2011 in Nashville, Tenn., VU defeated Wake Forest 41-7
  • Head Coach: James Franklin
  • Record at School (Years): 6-6 (1st)
  • Career Record (Years): Same
  • vs. Cincinnati: First Meeting

TELEVISION: ABC

  • Dave Lamont (Play-By-Play)
  • Ray Bentley (Analyst)
  • Quint Kessenich (Sideline)

RADIO: WLW (700 AM)

  • Dan Hoard (Play-By-Play)
  • Jim Kelly Jr. (Analyst)
  • Tom Gelehrter (Sideline)
  • Mo Egger (Host/Engineer)

RADIO: WLW (ESPN Radio/Sirius XM 84)

  • Pam Ward (Play-By-Play)
  • Dan Hawkins (Analyst)

UC Game Notes PDF | Vanderbilt Game Notes PDF | BIG EAST Notes PDF | SEC Notes PDF

THE SERIES

  • The 2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl will make the eighth meeting between the Bearcats and Vanderbilt in a series that dates back to 1898. The teams have not met since Oct. 8, 1994 and the Commodores have won three straight in the series.  

THE COACHES

  • Butch Jones is in his second season at the helm of the UC program. Jones has more than doubled the program’s win total from a year ago  and will lead the Bearcats to their 13th all-time bowl game. He has won three conference championship as a head coach (2007, 2009 at Central Michigan, 2011 at Cincinnati) and holds a 40-24 overall record and a 27-10 mark in league games.
  • JAMES FRANKLIN is in his first season at Vanderbilt after spending time as an assistant at Maryland, Kansas State and a stint with the Green Bay Packers. This is his first matchup as a head coach against UC.

CLEANING UP THE AWARDS

  • Eight University of Cincinnati football student-athletes earned All-BIG EAST Conference honors, and the Bearcats took home three of the top individual awards.
  • Head Coach Butch Jones was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year, RB Isaiah Pead the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and DT Derek Wolfe the conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Along with Pead, who was a unanimous first team selection, and Wolfe, DB Drew Frey, OL Randy Martinez, P Pat O’Donnell and LB JK Schaffer also earned First Team All-BIG EAST honors.
  • OL Alex Hoffman and QB Zach Collaros both earned spots on the league’s second team.
  • The last time a BIG EAST team owned piece of Offensive POTY, Defensive POTY and Coach OTY in one season was Miami (FL) in 2001 (Ken Dorsey, Ed Reed, Larry Coker).
  • Pead is UC’s first offensive player of the year honoree, Wolfe its first defensive player of the year while Jones’ coach of the year award is the fourth in last five years for UC.

STREAKS, STORYLINES, SIDEBARS

  • The University of Cincinnati, one of the five oldest football programs in college football, is in its 124th football season with an all-time record of 560-553-51 (.503).
  • Cincinnati clinched a share of the BIG EAST title - its third in the last four seasons. The Bearcats finished the regular season 9-3 overall and 5-2 in BIG EAST play.
  • UC will be making its 13th appearance in a postseason bowl, including its fifth in the last six seasons.
  • UC Head Coach Butch Jones earned his third conference championship as a head coach (2007, 2009 at Central Michigan, 2011 at Cincinnati) and his 40th career victory.
  • During the season, UC went 71 days without playing a true home game at Nippert Stadium. Folloing the Bearcats 44-14 win over N.C. State on Sept. 22, UC played home games against Louisville (W, 25-16 on Oct. 15) and West Virginia (L, 24-21 on Nov. 12) at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati.
  • In its final six games of 2011, UC faced four road games, one at PBS and one game at Nippert Stadium, putting together a 4-2 record despite losing starting QB Zach Collaros for the regular season with three games to go.
  • UC leads NCAA FBS in sacks (3.58) and tackles for a loss (8.92).
  • UC recorded 40 sacks over the last 10 games of the regular season.
  • UC leads BIG EAST, ranks 11th nationally in turnover margin (0.9/+11).
  • LB JK Schaffer ranks third in the BIG EAST in tackles, averaging 8.8 per game. He finished with 105 tackles in the regular season, the third straight year he has eclipsed that mark, making him only the fifth UC player all time to do so.
  • DT Derek Wolfe leads the BIG EAST and ranks sixth nationally with 19.5 tackles for a loss and ranks third in the league and tied for 12th in the FBS with 9.5 sacks.
  • RB Isaiah Pead was one of three 1,000-yard rushers in the BIG EAST Conference, tallying 1,110 yards along with a league high 14 touchdowns. Pead is the first UC back in 25 yards to have 1,000-yards rushing in back-to-back seasons. He also became just the third UC RB all time to eclipse 3,000 career rushing yards.
  • QB Zach Collaros missed the final 3.5 games of the regular season after suffering a broken right ankle against West Virginia. Prior to his injury, Collaros 154-of-243 for 1,860 yards and 14 touchdowns. His 140.1 pass efficiency rating still ranks second in the BIG EAST. He is rehabbing and working towards playing in the Liberty Bowl.

CLEANING UP THE AWARDS Eight University of Cincinnati football student-athletes earned All-BIG EAST Conference honors, and the Bearcats took home three of the top individual awards. Head Coach Butch Jones was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year, RB Isaiah Pead the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and DT Derek Wolfe the conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Along with Pead, who was a unanimous first team selection, and Wolfe, DB Drew Frey, OL Randy Martinez, P Pat O’Donnell and LB JK Schaffer also earned First Team All-BIG EAST honors. OL Alex Hoffman and QB Zach Collaros both earned spots on the league’s second team. The last time a BIG EAST team owned piece of Offensive POTY, Defensive POTY and Coach OTY in one season was Miami (FL) in 2001 (Ken Dorsey, Ed Reed, Larry Coker). Pead is UC’s first offensive player of the year honoree, Wolfe its first defensive player of the year while Jones’ coach of the year award is the fourth in last five years for UC.