Travis Kelce

Cincinnati heading back to Belk Bowl

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Having missed out on a share of the American Athletic Conference championship Thursday night due to an overtime loss to Louisville, Cincinnati has announced where they will be heading next. Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville made the announcement on Twitter, and the destination is somewhat familiar for Bearcats fans.

Cincinnati played in the Belk Bowl last year, defeating Duke 48-34. Quarterback Brendon Kay was the game’s most valuable player after going 17-for-25 for 332 yards and four touchdowns. An 83-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce gave Cincinnati a 41-34 lead in the final minute of the game, and a Nick Temple‘s 55-yard interception return for a touchdown served as the cherry on top fo a wild Belk Bowl that had gone back and forth in the second half before the final minute of the game.

Cincinnati  lost their head coach, Butch Jones, to Tennessee prior to last year’s bowl game. With the coaching carousel in season now, Tuberville might be an interesting name to keep an eye on as jobs become open, but it looks like a decent shot Cincinnati will not have to go through the bowl game with an interim head coach this season.

Central Florida clinched the American’s automatic BCS berth as a result o f Cincinnati’s loss to Louisville. Louisville has already accepted a spot in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando.

Mike Golic’s son transferring from Notre Dame to Cincinnati

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Tight end Jake Golic (pictured left) never made much of an impact on the field for Notre Dame. That’s understandable considering he sat behind guys like Tyler Eifert and Kyle Rudolph. Now, the son of former Irish and NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic will spend his final year of eligibility somewhere else.

Mike Golic said on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” that his son will transfer to Cincinnati as a grad student and be eligible to play right away. Officially, UC cannot comment on the transfer until he enrolls. The Bearcats are looking to replace the productivity of Travis Kelce, who was taken in the third round of last month’s NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Golic will rejoin former Notre Dame teammate Gunner Kiel at Cincinnati. The quarterback was added to UC’s roster last month.

Cincinnati scores late to win exciting Belk Bowl

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Duke’s last bowl appearance was the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl. It’s last bowl win? The 1961 Cotton Bowl.

The Blue Devils are going to have to wait a little bit longer to try to record another bowl win. Cincinnati forced a fumble deep in its own territory with under two minutes to play, drove the length of the field and then forced another fumble to secure a 48-34 win over Duke in the Belk Bowl.

Thanks to a pair of late scores by the Bearcats, the score didn’t reflect how close the game actually was. Duke jumped out to a quick 16-0 lead before Cincinnati roared back with 27 straight unanswered points. The two teams exchanged leads in the fourth quarter until a Ross Martin 52-yard field goal tied the game at 34. Duke was close to scoring again with under two minutes remaining when Josh Snead fumbled the ball and recovered by the Bearcats. It was the Blue Devils’ third turnover of the game.

That’s when Brendon Kay threw an 83-yard strike to tight end Travis Kelce for a touchdown. A sack and fumble by Duke quarterback Sean Renfree on the next possession sealed the game. Despite the turnovers, Fake Bo Pelini put it best:

It was the Belkiest, Belktastic Belk Bowl ever. Even the punting was superb.

Cincinnati was able to come away with the win without head coach Butch Jones, who left to take the Tennessee job earlier this month. It’s Cincinnati’s fifth season with at least 10 wins in the past six years. Duke, despite a good coaching job by coach David Cutcliffe, falls to 6-7.