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December 31, 2011

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - AutoZone Liberty Bowl:

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Vanderbilt (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)

V S.

3:30 PM, ABC, Saturday, Dec. 31, Memphis, TN

Why Watch: Don’t reload your screen or wipe your glasses off, it really is Vanderbilt in a bowl game. The Commodores made just their fifth bowl game in school history this season, taking down Wake Forest to become bowl eligible in the final game of the year. If not for a three point loss to the Mountaineers, the Bearcats would be playing in a BCS Bowl.

Who to Watch: Cincy defensive tackle Derek Wolfe didn’t get a whole lot of recognition this season, but he put together one of the best seasons an interior lineman can have. The senior brought in 64 tackles, including 19.5 for a loss and 9.5 sacks. He also forced and recovered two fumbles each. The Commodores are where they are because of their running game and running back Zac Stacy. The junior ran for 1,136 yards this season and 13 touchdowns. In games he went over 100, Vandy went 4-1.

How it’s Going Down: The Bearcats welcome back starting quarterback Zach Collaros, who missed the last three games of the year with an injury. Collaros can be a difference maker for the Bearcats, when he’s throwing it to the right team that is. Running back Isaiah Pead is the focus of this Cincy team, though, with over 1,100 yards on the ground this season. Led by Jordan Rodgers – younger brother of Aaron, the Commodores have been kept games close all season long. Relying on the running game today against a Cincinnati team that ranks first in the nation in tackles for loss a game (8.8) and No. 6 in rush defense is a bold strategy for the Commodores to come out with a win, though. Like they have so many times this season, a late minuet loss can be expected. Pick: Cincinnati 34 – Vanderbilt 28

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