2011 Liberty Bowl: Zach Collaros Returns, Leads Cincy To 31-24 Win

Zach Collaros made his triumphant return and Cincy held on for a 31-24 win over Vandy. SI.com: Liberty Bowl FAQ.

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2011 Liberty Bowl Final Score: Cincinnati Holds Off Vanderbilt For 31-24 Win

The 2011 Liberty Bowl provided most of the points and excitement on the final day of the 2011 college football season that is actually part of 2011, and it gave the Cincinnati Bearcats the penultimate college football victory of 2011, in a 31-24 triumph over Vanderbilt.

Cincinnati's 17 fourth quarter points propelled them, and both their offense and special teams produced them: Ralph Abernathy's 91-yard kickoff return touchdown made Vandy's 21-17 lead, itself produced by a big 68-yard touchdown catch from Chris Boyd, very short-lived, and Isaiah Pead's 12-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes on the clock sealed the Bearcats' win. Pead ran for 150 yards and a touchdown, propping up Cincinnati's offense, which got just 79 passing yards and a touchdown from Zach Collaros, who also threw two interceptions.

Vanderbilt's passing game was worse, however: Jordan Rodgers completed just four of 14 passes, and Larry Smith, who came in for him, completed eight of his 19 attempts for 142 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Commodores runners combined for 127 yards and two touchdowns, with Zac Stacy and Jerron Seymour both getting to paydirt.

For more on the Cincinnati Bearcats, visit Down The Drive. For Vanderbilt Commodores news and updates, check out Anchor Of Gold.


Liberty Bowl 2011: Vanderbilt Faces Cincinnati In Memphis

The Vanderbilt Commodores will stay in-state for their bowl game, traveling to Memphis to face Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl. And James Franklin wants you, whoever you are, to step up to the plate and help sell this bowl game out. The Commodores finished the year at 6-6, including a 2-6 mark in the SEC, to earn the bowl bid while Cincinnati finished in a three-way tie atop the Big East, losing the BCS tiebreaker to West Virginia.

The Liberty Bowl actually began being played in Philadelphia way back in 1959, hence the name, but it eventually was moved to Atlantic City in 1964 and then to its current home in Memphis the following year. The bowl's sponsor history isn't quite as illustrious, however, as AXA Financial began sponsoring it in 1997 before Autozone bought in prior to 2004.

The school is supposed to match the top team from Conference USA with a team from the SEC, but considering the top C-USA team is bowl-eligible this season, they were able to enact a clause that allowed them to pit an SEC team vs. a Big East alternate.

Game date, time: 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011

Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Ten..

TV channel: ABC

2010 winner and loser: Central Florida 10, Georgia 6

For more on each bowl game as it’s announced, stay tuned to SB Nation’s 2011 college football bowl game bids coverage. And visit our many college football blogs.

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