VOL. 126 | NO. 237 | Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Cincinnati, Vanderbilt to Meet in Liberty Bowl
MEMPHIS (AP) – After winning a share of the Big East championship, Cincinnati will face Vanderbilt in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.
The Bearcats (9-3) will be making their 13th bowl appearance and first in the Memphis bowl game after missing the postseason a year ago. The Commodores (6-6) are making just their fifth all-time bowl appearance but second in the past four seasons.
The teams, which have faced each other eight times, will meet for the first time since 1994.
Cincinnati doubled its win total of four games from a season ago thanks to a defense that leads the nation with 3.6 sacks and 8.9 tackles for loss per game.
"It's a great honor to be part of a game with the prestige and storied history of the Liberty Bowl," Cincinnati coach Butch Jones said in a statement. "We look forward to a great number of Cincinnati fans being the team behind the team and helping us ring in the New Year in Memphis."
Vanderbilt finished 2-10 for the last two seasons. First-year coach James Franklin injected some life into the program, which rewarded him Friday with a more lucrative contract.
The Commodores last appeared in the 2008 Music City Bowl, logging a 16-14 win over Boston College. With the Liberty Bowl bid, the current crop of Vanderbilt seniors will be the program's only class to play in two bowl games in their career.
"This promises to be a tremendous trip to celebrate an exciting season for our players, coaches and fans, and I know the Commodore Nation shares our enthusiasm about playing in Memphis on New Year's Eve," Franklin said. "It will be a great trip for all Commodores."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.