Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 BBVA Compass Bowl Preview

January 8, 2011 12:00 PM ET
Stadium: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
Payout: $900,000 (SEC), $600,000 (Big East)
Played: 2006-present
Once known as: Bowl (2006-2010)
Broadcasters: Mike Gleason, John Congemi
Sideline Reporter: Cara Capuano
Storyline: Pittsburgh is headed to Birmingham with a 7-5 record and defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will serve as interim head coach. Dave Wannstedt was fired after failing to get Pitt to a BCS bowl game and only winning a share of the Big East title once in his six years coaching the Panthers. After hiring and firing Mike Haywood, the Panthers are still looking for a leader. Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin leads Pitt with 810 receiving yards, and running back Dion Lewis leads Pitt with 956 rushing yards. Expect Pittsburgh to get the ball in the hands of these two players as the Panthers try to cap the season with a win for their ousted head coach. Joker Phillips concludes his first season as headman at Kentucky with a 6-6 record and the Wildcats’ fifth consecutive bowl appearance. Critics say Kentucky doesn’t deserve a spot in the postseason after going 2-6 in SEC play; also keep in mind that Kentucky plays in the weaker half of the conference: the SEC East. Kentucky’s claim to the bowl bid is that they lost close games to Auburn and Mississippi State, and the Wildcats also beat SEC East champ South Carolina. Kentucky will be without quarterback Mike Hartline due to suspension. Morgan Newton will be under center for the Wildcats. Kentucky’s best weapon is slot receiver Randall Cobb who has 15 touchdowns this year, including three passing touchdowns. Kentucky needs to make a statement in this game in order to tell critics that it does deserve to be in the postseason with a 2-6 conference record.
All-time Series: 0-0
Line: Pittsburgh by 3.5

Overall Record7-5Overall Record6-6
Conference Record5-2Conference Record2-6
Bowl Record11-15Bowl Record8-6
Last Bowl Win2009 Meineke Car CareLast Bowl Win2008 Liberty

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