PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 05: Zach Collaros #12 of the Cincinnati Bearcats celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second half against the Pittsburgh Panthers on November 5, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
The Cincinnati Bearcats get set to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in the 2011 Liberty Bowl.
The Cincinnati Bearcats head into the 2011 Liberty with the chance of getting their starting quarterback back. Zach Collaros was injured early in the season and watched his team attain a co-Big East championship and hopes to help Cincinnati receive it's first bowl win in four years. "I didn't feel I was going to be able to heal this fast," Collaros said. "There's still a long way to go ... so there's time for it to heal (more). I'm definitely ahead of schedule and excited about it." Back up quarterback Munchie Legaux held his own in Collaros place however, so if he can't go Legaux shouldn't be much of a downgrade.
The Vanderbilt Commodores on the other hand are in just their fifth bowl in school history and their second in the past four years. New head coach James Franklin got Vandy off to a quick start, but the team crumbled down the stretch losing five games in a row at one point. The Commodores rebounded however, winning two of their last three, thanks in part to running back Zac Stacy who was filling in for a recovering Warren Norman. "He's just steady Eddie," Franklin said of Stacy. "He comes to work every single day. ... We were able to do these things this year without what some people would consider our best player. So a great credit to Zac."
Game date, time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, December 31st
Location: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN
TV channel: ABC/ESPN3
Odds: Vanderbilt favored by 1.5
For more college football, stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news coverage. And visit our many college football blogs. Visit the official Liberty Bowl site here. For more on the Liberty Bowl, visit Cincinnati blog Down the Drive and Vanderbilt blog Anchor of Gold.