For the second year in a row, Boston College had to sit through a weather delay early on in their bowl game. Unlike a year ago, when The First Responder Bowl between Boston College and Boise State was called off after a lengthy delay, the Birmingham Bowl did eventually resume play. After a delay of about 92 minutes, the Birmingham Bowl resumed midway through the first quarter. At halftime, Cincinnati is in full control of the Eagles with a 17-0 advantage at the break.
Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder has run for both touchdowns scored so far in the game, helping the American runners-up to dominate on the ground. Ridder has rushed for 56 yards, with Michael Warren II adding 53 yards. Boston College, playing without star running back AJ Dillon, has struggled to move the ball on the ground against the Bearcats. Boston College has been held to just 28 rushing yards as a team.
Halftime will be abbreviated due to the earlier weather delay.
Virginia Tech scratched their way into a bowl game by scheduling an emergency 12th game at the end of the regular season, and the Hokies made sure to take advantage of their bowl eligibility right at the start of the Military Bowl in Annapolis this afternoon. Virginia Tech marched right down the field on the game’s opening possession against Cincinnati, and the Hokies and Bearcats are knotted at 14-14 at halftime in Annapolis, Maryland.
Ryan Willis completed a 21-yard pass to Eric Kumah on Virginia Tech’s opening possession for a touchdown at the end of a 10-play drive. The instant replay booth had to take a look at the catch to verify the result on the field before the Hokies could officially enjoy their early lead. The lead did not last for long, however, as Cincinnati responded with a touchdown drive of their own on their first offensive series. On 3rd & 8 from the Virginia Tech 38-yard line, Desmond Ridder dumped off a screen pass to Charles McClelland who followed some key blocks down the field as he found an open path for a long touchdown to even the score at 7-7.
Cincinnati lost Ridder at quarterback to a right leg injury late in the first quarter, with Hayden Moore stepping in to guide the offense. Ridder returned to the Cincinnati sideline later in the second quarter but was seen with a boot on his leg, thus ruling his return out of the question for the Bearcats.
Despite playing with Moore at QB and after some initial rhythm issues as he first entered the game, Cincinnati would take the lead early in the second quarter in somewhat bizarre fashion. Virginia Tech forced a fumble by Cincinnati running back Michael Warren II. The loose ball was recovered in the end zone by Kahlil Lewis of Cincinnati for a Bearcats touchdown.
Virginia Tech tied the game with a goal-line push of their own, without the aide of a fumble recovery, when Steven Peoples pushed across the goal line on a second down play. The Hokies had a chance to take a lead just before halftime, but a long field goal try by Brian Johnson slipped just wide of the goal post despite having the distance.