After the regular college football season ended, seven ACC schools, five Big Ten schools, and six Pac 12 schools announced that they would not play a bowl game that season. Since then, among the 29 scheduled bowl games, more than 50 players have reportedly opted out of their postseason game.
In the January 1 Peach Bowl, the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs could be eight players short, including their best pass rusher, defensive back, and offensive lineman.
The University of Cincinnati No. 8 soccer team has not canceled a single player.
“I think they know it’s a reward,” said head coach Luke Fickell. “You know what you have sacrificed for. You want to finish. “
On December 27, Fickell called a team meeting to discuss the upcoming Peach Bowl. He told UC players that there were nearly 120 college football teams willing to trade with the Bearcats for a New Years matchup against one of the SEC’s best programs.
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“(We) have the opportunity to play in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on January 1st against the Georgia Bulldogs, an obviously blue-blooded historic team, one of the greatest traditions in the country,” said Fickell . “How many people wouldn’t trade with you?”
This message was well received by the entire team.
“It means a lot to have this chance at the Peach Bowl against a great team,” said Josh Whyle. “We’ve been so close for the last couple of years that just being here is really going to be a dream come true.”
Bearcats shook off rust after the AAC title game: When UC won the American Athletic Conference game against Tulsa, the Bearcats committed eight false start penalties and dropped multiple snapshots.
Fickell attributed these mistakes to the Bearcats’ four-week sacking prior to this game. With one more game and a full week of training, Fickell said the team should be in better shape against Georgia.
“I really hope that we have learned from it as coaches and that the players have learned from it,” said Fickell. “We’re going to be tested, we’ll see, we’ll find out. We can’t tell you that we know for sure. There is no magic that we have used to say that we will limit all of these failures. We’ll be back in time in a moment. “
Gerrid Doaks is ready to bounce back from AAC title game performance: During UC’s first eight games that season, Gerrid Doaks, who ran back, averaged 17 transfers per game for 82.5 yards.
But in the AAC title game against Tulsa, Doaks only had seven transfers for 13 yards.
Doaks said he has recovered from a lower body injury and is ready to return to his role in the Georgia offensive.
“It’s going well right now,” said Doaks. “I’m doing everything I can to make it healthy again. In the game, of course, it was frustrating. Championship game. But at the end of the day, I know we had a room full of running backs able to take over the game and get the job done. “
In the Bearcats’ biggest games this season, the offensive has relied on Doaks. He had one of his best games of the year against Houston when he had 105 yards over 20 runs. In the wins against Houston and Central Florida, Doaks averaged 22 transfers for 140.5 yards.
UC junior quarterback Desmond Ridder said the game in progress was an integral part of the Bearcats’ balanced offense.
“We can hand the ball over to Jerome Ford or Gerrid Doaks and let them carry it,” said Ridder. “It’s a team effort and everyone around us is playing games.”
Two Bearcats receive All-American recognition
On Monday, Senior Safety James Wiggins and second cornerback Ahmad Gardner were named to the Associated Press All-American’s second team.
Wiggins had defended 32 tackles that season and six passes. Gardner broke six passes and had three interceptions.