2007 International Bowl
Jan. 6, 2007 - Rogers Centre - Toronto, Ontario
The inaugural International Bowl provided University of Cincinnati fans with a preview of the high-octane offense new head coach Brian Kelly intends to install.
In the end, it was the Bearcats' defense and steady special teams play--trademarks of the 2006 season--that lifted UC to a 27-24 win over Western Michigan.
Kevin Lovell's 33-yard field goal with 6:11 remaining in the contest provided the winning points for Cincinnati to close out the campaign with an 8-5 ledger. UC's rushing game powered the 12-play, 76-yard scoring drive. UC gained 52 yards on the ground, Butler Benton accounting for 49 yards on three carries. Benton also picked up 18 yards on a reception which advanced the ball to the Bronco 11.
The UC defense then protected that winning margin. Western Michigan reached the UC 30, but the Bearcats stiffened. A 51-yard field goal try by Nate Meyer with 1:26 remaining in the game was short and wide to the left. Cincinnati ran out the clock.
Dominick Goodman, who finished with seven receptions for a career-high 109 yards, was named Most Outstanding Player. Goodman caught a pair of 21-yard touchdown passes to help UC build a 24-0 lead.
Nick Davila completed 19 of 35 passes for 214 yards and a pair of TDs. He was intercepted twice, with Western Michigan turning both miscues into scores. Butler Benton lead the rushing attack, which gained 126 yards on 10 carries on the Broncos' defense that was ranked fifth nationally in defending the run. Greg Moore added 57 yards in 10 tries.
The win gave the BIG EAST Conference a perfect 5-0 record in bowl play, tops among the nation's conferences. The conference entered the bowl season with the top winning percentage of any BCS conference over the previous five seasons, a record Cincinnati helped extend.
Bearcats Dominate Early
Cincinnati looked as though it might turn the first-ever college football bowl in Canada into a lopsided rout, springing to a 24-0 lead in the first 19:37 of play.
John Bowie put UC on the scoreboard three and a half minutes into the contest when he gathered in a tipped pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. It was the second interception of the senior's career.
On Cincinnati's next possession, Davila drove the Bearcats 64 yards in only five plays, culminating with a 21-yard TD toss to Dominick Goodman. Goodman hauled in a second TD pass from Davila on the second play of the second quarter, capping an 11-play, 74-yard drive.
Dustin Grutza relieved Davila on the next possession and moved the Bearcats into position for a 37-yard field goal by Lovell that made the score 24-0 with 10:23 to play in the first half.
The defense also contributed to UC's early dominance, holding Western Michigan to 36 total yards and two first downs. The reeling Broncos used some trickery to reverse the game's momentum. On the first play following Lovell's field goal, receiver E.J. Biggers, taking the ball on a double reverse, lofted the ball to a wide-open Jamarko Simmons who was untouched for a 76-yard touchdown.
Big Plays Rally Broncos
The Broncos' defense got the ball right back and Cubitt tossed a 30-yard scoring pass to Herb Martin to close the gap to 24-14. A miscue by the UC offense--Davila's pass was deflected at the line and intercepted by Matt Ludeman with 23 seconds to play in the half, setting up Nate Meyer's 29-yard field goal.
The third quarter was played to a stalemate. Cincinnati mounted a pair of serious scoring drives. UC advanced to the WMU 31 on its first possession. On third down, Davila was sacked for an 8-yard loss, moving UC out of field goal range. On their next possession, the Bearcats reached the WMU 4. Davila fumbled the ball on a sack.
Western Michigan tied the game with 10:53 left in the fourth quarter. The Broncos intercepted Davila and got the ball on the UC 47. Brandon Rush had a 19-yard run and later scored on a 7-yard burst.
The Bearcats collectively took command of the game after that.
CIN-John Bowie 25-yd interception return (Kevin Lovell kick), 11:32
CIN-Dominick Goodman 21-yd pass from Nick Davila (Kevin Lovell kick), 6:27
CIN-Dominick Goodman 21 yd pass from Nick Davila (Kevin Lovell kick), 14:30
CIN-FG Kevin Lovell 37 yards, 10:23
WMU-Jamarko Simmons 76-yd pass from E.J. Biggers (Nate Meyer kick), 9:45
WMU-Herb Martin 30-yd pass from Ryan Cubit (Nate Meyer kick), 5:35
WMU-FG Nate Meyer 29 yards, 0:08
WMU-Brandon West 7-yd run (Nate Meyer kick), 10:53
CIN- FG Kevin Lovell 33 yards, 6:11
Rushing-- Western Michigan: West 21-109, Thompson 6-24, Cubit 2-(-10).
Cincinnati: Benton 10-62, Moore 10-57, Grutza 3-22, Glatthaar 4-14,
Passing-- Western Michigan: Cubit 23-43-2, 184, 1 TD; Martin 0-1-0, 0, 0 TD; Biggers 1-1-0, 76, 1 TD. Cincinnati: Davila 19-35-2, 214, 2 TD; Grutza 1-2-0, 7, 0 TD.
Receiving-- Western Michigan: Simmons 13-172, Ledbetter 5-38, Martin 4-43, Maragos 1-5, West 1-2. Cincinnati: Goodman 7-109, Celek 4-21, Poland 3-17, Benton 2-26, Moore 2-20, Martin 1-19, Stewart 1-9.