The University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 35-31 in the 2018 Military Bowl Monday afternoon at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
The Bearcats finish the season 11-2, while the Hokies fall below .500 at 6-7. This marks the third time a UC team has reached 11 wins in school history and the first time since the 2009 season, when the Bearcats finished 12-1.
The bowl win is the first for Luke Fickell as a head coach.
UC postgame https://t.co/hU3fDZsero— TNR Sports (@Sports_TNR) December 31, 2018
After a back-and-forth third quarter and early fourth quarter, UC turned to sophomore running back Michael Warren II in the final minutes.
Warren finished with 166 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 8-yard score with 1:29 left in the fourth quarter. His 166 yards are the most rushing yards ever by a UC player in a bowl game.
Safety James Wiggins sealed the victory by intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis at UC’s 17-yard line with 0:33 left.
Starting quarterback Desmond Ridder suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter, leaving backup Hayden Moore with the duties in his final collegiate game.
The fifth-year senior didn’t disappoint, finishing 11-of-25 passing for 120 yards and 64 rushing yards on nine carries.
The 11-2 season comes after finishing 4-8 in 2017.
Fickell will now turn his focus to recruiting, as national signing day for Division I football is Feb. 6, 2019.