As the college football bowl season rolls along, there are games that look like blowouts on paper like the Belk Bowl on December 27 between the 6-6 Duke Blue Devils and the 9-3 Cincinnati Bearcats at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time in Charlotte, N.C. Duke is making their first bowl appearance in 18 years while Cincinnati is in transition after a coaching change. I do think on what is expected to be a windy night in Charlotte that one team should have a large advantage.
Duke can throw the ball around very well and has scored over 30 points seven times this season while averaging over 31 points per game but faces a Cincinnati defense that is only allowing 17 points a game. Duke has to be able to throw the ball effectively to have any chance in this game and with the possible wind that could be hard to do. Cincinnati is a quick-strike offense that has scored seven times this season on drives of under a minute. If the Bearcats can do that again, it could be a bad night for the home-state Blue Devils.
I think the weather does get involved in this game and that favors Cincinnati and their more balanced offense that can run the ball well. I don’t think Duke will be effective passing the ball and that leads me to believe that Cincinnati takes home a 24-13 victory. The nerves will get to Duke in the biggest game for the program in two decades. It will be a great game to watch though for fans at home and in Charlotte.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.