Tonight marked the first time Cincinnati went to the Orange Bowl, the seventy-fifth occasion of this particular bowl game. Held at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, FL, whom would the Bearcats have to snarl against to win? The Virginia Tech Hokies. Broadcast on Fox, the first quarter started off with a touchdown for the Bearcats. Quarterback Tony Pike threw to wide receiver Mardy Gilyard. Cincinnati 7 and Virginia Tech 0. Hokies kicker Dustin Keys missed a twenty-six yard field goal when his team got the ball. Bearcats kicker Jake Rogers missed his first field goal too (in the bottom of the quarter).
The second quarter spat out a Hokies TD–quarterback Tyrod Taylor did it himself, serpentining his way through the Bearcats defense and breaking the plane at the front, left corner of the end zone (front and left from the players’ POV). Both teams 7. And then oooo Tony Pike threw an interception. Hokies safety Kam Chancellor landed on the ball after his teammate cornerback Victor Harris got the ball from its target’s grasp. Would the officials concur? Nope. The ball was ruled an incomplete pass. Slow-motion instant replay suggested that Kam Chancellor’s left hand and left knee hit the ground before his body went out of bounds. But, apparently the forearm ought to hit the turf–not just a hand. Tyrod Taylor threw a pass right into the hands of Bearcats defensive back Brandon Underwood as the game clock entered five minute territory. Tony Pike repeated the goof by hurling the ball to Hokies cornerback Stephen Virgil in the end zone. Closing out the second quarter was a Dustin Keys forty-three yard field goal attempt, which he delivered. Virginia Tech 10 and Cincinnati 7.
The third quarter ticked nearly halfway before either team scored, a thirty-five yard field goal for the Hokies. Virginia Tech 13 and Cincinnati 7. Would the Hokies get a chance to put another in the end zone after Bearcats QB had a pass tugged out of the air by Kam Chancellor? That would be a negative. The Hokies did do something with a burst of speed and agility in the top of the fourth quarter when running back Darren Evans made his way into the end zone. Virginia Tech 20 and Cincinnati 7. Ricocheting down to nearly the two-minute warning, Bearcats QB threw another interception. Hokies linebacker Cody Grimm got his hands on the ball. Virginia Tech has clawed up the freshly squeezed Orange juicy fruit noodle Bowl. 20 to 7 final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Charles Davis and Thom Brennaman were the commentators.
2. Arturo Sandoval trumpeted the national anthem. It was actually kinda cool.
3. Virginia Tech won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
4. Have I never noticed it before and the yardage numbers on the Dolphin Stadium turf have always been outlined in orange? Or have been for a long time?
5. The Bearcats uniforms were black tops with black bottoms. Red collar rims. I kinda dug the three diagonal, wing-like streaks on the outside of the thighs. Almost like this, but instead of a solid white block on the pants, there were three white stripes.
6. Did Charles Davis say “Two things leaking out at me….” regarding criticisms of Va Tech offensive methods? If “deep penetration” weren’t snickery enough, “two things leaking out at me?” Don’t do it.
7. The Doobie Brothers performed during halftime. Miami’s DJ Irie introduced them. Dancers, in glittery silver costumes methinks, were on the field doing some choreographed number…but they didn’t get much screen time.
8. Does Hokies head coach Frank Beamer spend the majority of his waking hours with his mouth ajar?
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.