Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel has been a star for the Bearcats, recording 30 TDs and leading them to a share of the AAC title.READ MORE: Jason Pierre-Paul free agency – Giants DE expects to be hot commodity Rex Ryan clears out his desk – Jets head coach empties office in anticipation of firing Wolfpack wins St. Petersburg Bowl – N. C. State beats UCF to win St. Petersburg Bowl.
Gunner Kiel and the Cincinnati Bearcats take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2014 Military Bowl.
In a battle between AAC and ACC, the Bearcats – co-champions of the American Athletic Conference – take on the Hokies, who only managed to clinch bowl eligibility in a final win over rival Virginia.
The Bearcats are riding a seven game winning streak with QB Gunner Kiel, and have scored 30 points or more in nine games this year (40 points or more in four and 50 points or more in two). Kiel has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 30 TDs (most in the AAC) while completing over 60% of his passes. The defense has been no slouch either – the team has held five of their last seven opponents under 20 points and three of them under 10. The key to beating the Bearcats will be to keep the ball out of Gunner Kiel’s hands and keep them grounded with tight coverage.
The Hokies have been a mystery all year – they scored arguably the biggest upset of the season with a 35-21 win over #8 Ohio State (the future Big Ten Champion and a College Football Playoff team) only to fall on a two-game losing streak. Later in the season they scored a huge win over #21 Duke only to fall to Wake Forest 6-3 the following week. QB Michael Brewer has been very mistake prone at times, committing 14 INTs, and the running game has been rather ineffective as well, as neither of the team’s top two rushers have averaged more than 4.8 yards/carry. The key to beating the Hokies will be to force them to make big plays through the air and force turnovers.
Prediction: Cincinnati Bearcats win the Military Bowl – The Bearcats have all of the advantages in their favor: better offense and better defense, not to mention that they have a much better QB who can make all of the throws. The Hokies will be hard-pressed to get points in this one, much less a win.