#8 Cincinnati to take on SEC powerhouse #9 Georgia in 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

2021 Peach Bowl Presser 1 Luke Fickell UC Kirby Smart GA 12 20 2020.mp3

CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati football team finished at No. 8 in the final College Football Playoff ranking and will face No. 9 Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1, 2021 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Kickoff is scheduled at noon ET and the game will air on ESPN and 700 WLW AM. UC will make its first-ever appearance in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. This year’s matchup also represents only the second American Athletic Conference vs. SEC matchup in the Bowl’s 53-year history, following No. 12 UCF’s upset over No. 7 Auburn in 2018. 
“We are extremely excited to kick off the New Year, Jan. 1 with a top-10 matchup as the first New Year’s Six bowl played in 2021,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO and president. “Both of the Cincinnati and Georgia programs have persevered through numerous challenges during this unprecedented season and rightfully earned bids to play in an elite New Year’s Six bowl game.” 
“Cincinnati and Georgia have had outstanding seasons and we are thrilled to welcome them both to Atlanta, the Capital of College Football,” said Bob Somers, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl chairman. “We’re looking forward to having Georgia back in our game for the first time in 14 years, and for Cincinnati to be in our Bowl for the first time in the program’s history.”
The 9-0 Bearcats ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press and Coaches poll on Sunday on the heels of clinching the American Athletic Conference Championship with a thrilling 27-24 win over No. 23 Tulsa on Saturday, Dec. 19 at Nippert Stadium. 
Cole Smith (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) made a 34-yard field goal as time expired to clinch UC’s first outright league title since 2009. AAC Most Outstanding Player Desmond Ridder (Louisville, Kentucky/St. Xavier) threw for 269 yards and a TD while adding another rushing score in the win. 
Cincinnati finished ranked in the Top-10 of all three national polls for the first time since the 2009 season. As a result of being the highest ranked conference champion from outside of the five autonomy conferences, UC clinched a spot in the New Year’s Six for the first time. The Bearcats played in the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl following the 2008 and 2009 seasons, respectively. 
Ticket information for the game will be released as soon as it’s finalized.
Cincinnati (9-0 overall, 6-0 AAC) enters the game ranked eighth in the College Football Playoff rankings after securing the program’s first outright AAC championship. The Bearcats will be making their first appearance in a New Year’s Six bowl since 2010 and are balanced on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Bearcats are second in the country in both passes intercepted (15) and team passing efficiency defense, 21st in passing yards allowed (192.3 yards per game), 18th in red zone defense, 14th in turnovers gained (19), 20th in rushing defense (122.1 yards allowed per game), 13th in total defense (314.4 yards allowed a game) and seventh in scoring defense, only yielding 16 points a game. Cincinnati is 14th in rushing offense (225 yards per game), 15th in scoring offense (39.3 points per game) and 19th in total offense (467.2 yards per game). The Bearcats are led offensively by quarterback Desmond Ridder who ranks 20th in completion percentage (66.4 percent), 19th in passing efficiency (156.4), 27th in passing touchdowns (17), 28th in passing yards (2,090), 12th in points responsible for (174) and 10th in rushing touchdowns (12).
Georgia (7-2 overall, 7-2 SEC) ranks ninth in the College Football Playoff rankings and will be making its fourth consecutive New Year’s Six bowl appearance under head coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs field one of the nation’s top defensive units allowing only 322.8 yards and 19.9 points per game, which ranks 15th and 21st in the nation. Georgia ranks first nationally in rushing defense, allowing only 69.3 yards on the ground each game, and is sixth in defensive touchdowns (three).  Offensively, the Bulldogs rank 10th in third down conversion percentage (49.2 percent), 22nd in passing yards per completion (13.87) and 32nd in scoring offense (33.2 points per game). Georgia running back Zamir White is 17th in the nation in rushing touchdowns (10), 27th in total touchdowns (10) and 31st in rushing yards (740). Meanwhile, Bulldog quarterback JT Daniels has started the final three games of the season, posting impressive numbers by completing 54 of 81 passes for 839 yards and nine touchdowns to only one interception.     
Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 52 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $280.7 million in team payouts over its 53-year history. Peach Bowl, Inc. also leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, having donated or committed $57.2 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. also created and manages the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award and led the relocation and financial foundation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta. For more information, visit Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CFAPeachBowl.
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.



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