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Cincinnati is working on finishing up a perfect season.

Cincinnati aiming for ‘fun,’ historic win over Georgia in Peach Bowl

ATHENS — Cincinnati is upbeat about its chance to cap a perfect season with a win over SEC juggernaut Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl,

“It’s going to be fun, we just have to play our ball and we should  come out successful,” Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant said on Tuesday morning.

“We’re just trusting in Coach (Luke) Fickells’ program and believing in him. We knew what this program could be if we just followed behind him.”

RELATED: Kirby Smart shares back-up plans for players opting out

Cincinnati All-American Ahmad Gardner says the Bearcats are comfortable with their chances.

“It’s not that we want to prove anything,” Gardner said. “We know we have what it takes.

Playing the Bulldogs at noon on Friday in Mercedes-Benz Stadium represents the biggest opportunity in Cincinnati history, but it’s not necessarily the Bearcats’ biggest game.

Not yet, at least.

Chad Brendel, who has covered Cincinnati athletics for 15 years and is with the 247Sports Bearcat Journal, explains the 2009 Big East Championship Game win over Pitt — a 45-44 comeback win from 21 points down — is a prevailing favorite.

Georgia fans, meanwhile, figure to have one eye on the future as well as the present when tuning in to the noon game on Friday.

The Bulldogs’ revitalized passing game will be on display, and there’s reason to believe this could be a big game for slot receivers and tight ends with Cincinnati having the No. 2 pass efficiency defense in the nation.

Certainly, how JT Daniels performs against the best pass defense he will have seen as UGA’s quarterback is a prevailing storyline,

The Bulldogs are also chock full of players who are electing to play in the bowl game rather than opt-out, a shot in the arm and source of pride for Kirby Smart, who wants his players to make one more great memory together.

As for this Cincinnati team, which enters the at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as a touchdown underdog, Brendel shared how these Bearcats are built more like a Big Ten team with a handful of future NFL players.

It starts with Desmond Ridder, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound duel-threat QB  coming off an MVP performance in the AAC Championship Game.

RELATED: Desmond Ridder is ‘key piece’ in Peach Bowl chess match

Ridder, who passed for 269 yards and ran for another 83 yards in the ACC title game win over Tulsa, had only one other offer — Eastern Kentucky.

And yet here he is, keeping UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning up late at night scheming.

Brendel had several other insights into Cincinnati, including why Georgia fans shouldn’t read too much into what happened the last time the Bearcats faced an SEC team in a New Year’s Six Bowl.

On The Beat 12-29-20

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