2021 Peach Bowl Friday at Noon: #8 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #9 Georgia Bulldogs

Desmond Ridder UC QB On winning AAC title over Tulsa 12 19 2020.mp3

CINCINNATI – The No. 8 University of Cincinnati football team, 2020 American Athletic Conference Champions, face No. 9 Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 at noon inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. UC’s first New Year’s Six bowl since appearing in back-to-back games in 2008 and 2009 will be televised by ESPN and air on 700 WLW AM.

CINCINNATI BEARCATS
Head Coach Luke Fickell
Record at Cincinnati 35-13 (Fourth Year)
Overall Record 41-20 (Fifth Year)
 
GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Head Coach Kirby Smart
Record at School 51-14 (Fifth Year)
Overall Record Same
 

GAME INFORMATION
Facility Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Capacity 71,000 (16,500 for Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl)
TV ESPN
Radio 700 WLW AM / XM 380 / Internet 970
Online ESPNRadio.com
Series Record Georgia leads 2-0
Neutral Site First Meeting
Last Meeting Oct. 30, 1976 – UGA won 31-17

ON THE AIR
TV ESPN
• Play-by-Play: Mark Jones
• Analyst: Dusty Dvoracek
• Reporter: Kris Budden
• Online: WatchESPN.com
• Mobile App: ESPN

RADIO: BEARCATS SPORTS NETWORK
• Play-by-Play: Dan Hoard
• Analyst: Jim Kelly Jr.
• Host/Engineer: Mo Egger
• Local: 700 WLW AM
• Satellite: XM 380 / Internet 970

NATIONAL RADIO: ESPN Radio
• Play-by-Play: Dave O’Brien
• Analyst: Mike Golic Jr.
• Satellite: Sirius 84 / XM 84 / Internet 84

THE SERIES
The teams have met twice previously but New Year’s Day will mark the first meeting in over 44 years. Georgia holds a 2-0 edge in the series, winning a 35-13 decision at Nippert Stadum on Oct. 24, 1942 and a 31-17 matchup at Sanford Stadium on Oct. 30, 1976. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl marks the first matchup at a neutral site.

THE COACHES
Luke Fickell, a two-time AAC Coach of the Year, is in his fourth season at UC. He has led the Bearcats to back-to-back 11-win seasons, the 2019 AAC East Division title and consecutive bowl wins in the 2018 Military Bowl and 2019 TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl. A veteran of 20 years in the FBS ranks, Fickell has been a part of two national championship squads, nine conference title-winning teams (seven as a coach, two as a player at Ohio State) with 16 postseason games and 13 NFL Draft selections.

Kirby Smart is 51-14 in his fifth year at his alma mater. Since 2015, Georgia has three SEC Eastern Division championships, 51 wins, an SEC title, three bowl victories and an appearance in one national championship game. Prior to returning to Athens, Smart spent nine years at Alabama with previous stints with the Miami Dolphins, UGA, LSU, Florida State and Valdosta State.

STREAKS, STORYLINES, SIDEBARS … 
• UC plays its 133rd football season in 2020. The Bearcats program dates to 1885 and is one of the 10 oldest in the NCAA FBS. UC has won a league title six times in the last 14 years and has played 12 bowl games in the past 15 years.
• Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UC lost games at Nebraska, Temple, Tulsa, vs. Miami (OH) and Western Michigan. The APSU game moved from Sept. 3 to Sept. 19, UC added Army on Sept. 26 and the TU game moved five times before being canceled.
• UC has won five-straight American Athletic Conference FB Team Academic Excellence Awards from 2015-20.
• Fifteen states and four countries are represented on UC’s 2020 roster, which features nearly 62 percent (77/125) Ohio natives, including 31 from Cincinnati. Eighty-three of UC’s 125 players (66.4 percent) are sophomores or below.
• UC has signed 247Sports’ top-ranked recruiting class in the American in three of the last four years.
• UC is 31-5 since 2018, ranking among the top five teams in CFB in winning percentage during that span (.861).
• A win in the Peach Bowl would give UC its first undefeated campaign in the modern era (last was 3-0 in 1918) along with double-digit victories for the third-straight season and only the ninth time in school history.
• UC has an 10-9 all-time bowl record, winning consecutive bowl games in 2018 (Military) and 2019 (Birmingham) for the first time since 2011 (Liberty) and 2012 (Belk), making 16 of its 20 all-time postseason appearances in the last 20 seasons.
• UC has won 20-straight at Nippert Stadium, going undefeated at home in three-straight seasons for the first time in school history.
• UC ranks in the Top-10 of all three national polls for the first time since the end of the 2009 regular season and is off to an 9-0 start for the fourth time in program history, along with 1951, 1954 and 2009.
• UC scored 36 at UCF, 55 vs. ECU, 38 vs. Houston, 49 against Memphis and 42 at SMU, the first time in UC history scoring 36 or more points in five-straight games. UC is outscoring its opponents 354-144 this season.
• UC has forced a turnover in 19-straight games, the longest active streak in the NCAA FBS.
• UC has outscored foes 65-25 in the fourth quarter the past six games, with a 42-11 mark against SMU, Memphis and UCF.
• UC won the 2020 AAC Championship, its 15th all time, first league title since 2014 and first outright crown since 2009.
• UC had a school-record 17 players named to the All-AAC teams, including AAC Offensive Player of the Year Desmond Ridder.
• Head Coach Luke Fickell was the AAC Coach of the Year and DC Marcus Freeman was a finalist for the Broyles Award. 

ONE TEAM ONE TEST
Your gift to the Next Level Success Fund will have a direct impact on the Bearcats football team as they prepare to take on Georgia in the 2020 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. As they have all season, members of the team and coaching staff will continue to be COVID tested leading up to the game. Your contribution will help us ensure that the team can safely practice and take the field on New Year’s Day.

To make a gift, or learn more, please visit https://impact.uc.edu/project/21337.

FOLLOW THE BEARCATS
For all the latest information on Cincinnati football, please visit GoBEARCATS.com. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati football (@GoBearcatsFB) and Coach Fickell (@CoachFick) on Twitter. You can also find the Bearcats on Instagram and Facebook.

GAME PREVIEW COURTESY UC SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

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