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2013 Belk Bowl guide: UNC vs. Cincinnati TV time and preview

The game will kick-off December 28 at 3:20 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams who had to replace their starting quarterbacks due to injury early in the season will face off in this year's Belk Bowl, as the North Carolina Tar Heels play the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Cincinnati started the year with a blowout win over a Big Ten opponent and a blowout loss to another -- neither of whom made bowl games. After the win to Purdue and loss to Illinois, the Bearcats won eight of their next nine games, with their only loss coming to South Florida (who was winless at the time). Cincinnati had an outside shot at the AAC title and a BCS bowl bid in the last week of the season, but a loss to Louisville ended those hopes.

North Carolina had a very poor start to the year, opening 1-5 with a blowout loss to East Carolina. The Tar Heels then went on a roll, defeating Boston College and Pitt during a five-game winning streak that brought them bowl eligibility. In the season finale, they lost by two to Duke, giving their fierce rivals the division title.

The numbers

Rankings and records: Neither team is ranked. North Carolina went 6-6 in the regular season, with a 4-4 conference record good for fifth in the Coastal Division. Cincinnati boasts a 9-3 regular season record, with a 6-2 record in AAC play good for third in the conference. The Tar Heels have won both games in the series history.

Vegas: North Carolina is a three-point favorite. The over/under is 56.5 points.

Weather: Mid 40s.

Three names to know

Eric Ebron. One of the best tight ends in the country, Ebron has 55 catches for 895 yards and three touchdowns this season for the Tar Heels, and has already declared for the NFL Draft.

Marquise Williams. The sophomore had a strong season after taking over for injured starter Bryn Renner, throwing for 14 touchdowns, running for six more and even catching a score.

Brendon Kay. Kay played in all 12 games this season, taking over for Munchie Legaux and throwing for 22 touchdowns while running for six more.

Two things at stake

After a disastrous start to year two of Larry Fedora's tenure, North Carolina would clinch a winning season with a victory here.

Cincinnati wasn't one of the talked-about teams in the AAC this year, and a win over a major conference bowl opponent could improve the conference's stock in the eyes of the nation.

How to witness

TV: 3:20 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Radio: Here's a list of affiliates for North Carolina. Here's one for Cincinnati.

Online streaming: WatchESPN.

Location: Charlotte, N.C.

Stadium: Bank of America Stadium (73,778)

Last year's score: Cincinnati 48, Duke 34

Last year's attendance: 48,128

Last year's TV rating: 2.6 (3.9 million viewers)

Last year's payout for each school: $1.7 million

Team with the most all-time appearances: North Carolina has appeared in the Belk Bowl three times. This will be the school's fourth appearance.

Team with the most all-time wins: Virginia, N.C. State and Boston College have each won the bowl twice.

Further reading

Head to Down the Drive for all your coverage on Cincinnati, and Tar Heel Blog for the North Carolina perspective.

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