The complete 2012-2013 bowl schedule has been released and, for the first time since 1994, Duke has found themselves amongst the teams going bowling, accepting a bid to play the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in the 11th-annual Belk Bowl.
The game will be played on December 27 at 6:30pm and will be televised on ESPN. The Belk Bowl will feature a 6-6 Bue Devils team looking to capture their first winning season since 1994 and their first bowl win in over forty years. David Cutcliffe’s squad is coming four consecutive losses, three of which were blowouts, in which they were outscored 198-96. Opposing them will be an impressive Cincinnati team that went 9-3 and who’s only losses were a three-point loss to Big East Champions Louisville, a seven-point loss to Big East Runner-Up Rutgers, and a six-point loss to a 9-3 Toledo team.
On paper, the Bearcats are the more talented team, featuring a balanced offensive attack and a defense that is only allowing 17.2 points per game. As we’ve seen in the past, though, bowl games can be a real crap shoot, as the month long layoff allows injuries to heal, schemes to change, players to rest, and several other variables that can drastically change how a team can perform. For Duke, the break could symbolize a reset for themselves following a rough four-week stretch. Don’t forget, at one point this team was 6-2 and on top of the world. Now? They have to find a way to recover following four games in which their defense was completely and totally embarrassed in every way imaginable.
Any early predictions for the game? Can the Blue Devils’ finally heal and step up? Sound off in the comments section below and let us know!