Ferguson and Bearcats win the Military Bowl

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

Chris Ferguson concluded his NCAA football career and a resurgent season for the Cincinnati Bearcats with a bowl win.

The Bearcats defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 35-31 in the PlayStation Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman Monday afternoon inside the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on the US Naval Academy campus.

Ferguson and the Bearcats offensive line led sophomore running back Michael Warren III to 166 yards and two touchdowns en route to being named MVP.

“The jubilation, the euphoria, man we worked hard!!” Ferguson posted on social media. “11-2 and a lot more to go. Love every last one of these boys. Champions!”

The Bearcats outgained the Hokies 463-443 and outrushed them 256-224.

“Everything was just clicking at the end of the game and the O-line did a great job,” Warren said. “Especially at the end when you keep wearying the other team down.”

The win came four years following the 2014 Military Bowl loss when the Hokies defeated the Bearcats 33-17. Ferguson was a freshman at the time.

Cincinnati finished the season 11-2, 6-2 in the American Athletic Conference after winning a combined eight games the last two seasons. It was their first 10-win season since 2012.

Ferguson, a 6’5” 303-pound senior offensive lineman won the starting job at right tackle in the offseason and went on to start 11 games.

He was also one of 10 members of the Bearcats football team to earn his degree (Criminal Justice) last April.

As a freshman, he was initially recruited as three-star recruit on the defensive line, following his senior season at Lake Nona High School in Orlando, Florida when he recorded 17 total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

After a redshirt true freshman season, he shifted to the offensive line but did not see playing time in the 2015-17 seasons.

The Bearcats returns to postseason play for the first time since the 2015 Hawai’i Bowl, played in its 18th bowl game all time and 10th in the past 13 seasons.

The Bearcats are clinched their third 11-win season in the program’s 131-year history and have a 9-9 all-time postseason record.