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Hokies Beat Bearcats 33-17 in Military Bowl

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J.C. Coleman and key turnovers carry Hokies to victory over Bearcats

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Hokies got off to a slow start. Their defense allowed an early Bearcats touchdown pass from quarterback Gunner Kiel to wide receiver Chris Moore. Their offense also provided no help early with a quick three-and-out and a Michael Brewer interception on their first two possessions. Their third possession of the game would lead to a J.C. Coleman 1 yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7.

In the second quarter, both teams traded field goals late in the half. With time winding down, kicker Joey Slye nailed a 49 yard field goal giving the Hokies a 13-10 lead at the half. Slye finished the day 4 of 4 on field goal attempts and 3 extra points.

The second half was dominated by the Hokies. The opening drive for the Hokies resulted in a Brewer touchdown pass to junior tight end Ryan Malleck. Later in the quarter, Deon Clarke was able to sack Kiel which forced a fumble at the Bearcats 43 yard line where teammate Nigel Williams picked it up and ran it to the 12 yard line, before fumbling himself and teammate Greg Stroman scooped it up and completed the run for a touchdown. This gave the Hokies a 27-10 lead. Not only did the Bearcats give up a defensive touchdown, Kiel was also forced out of the game. That play would be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Bearcats.

The Hokies would eventually hold on and come away with a 33-17 victory over the Bearcats. Junior running back J.C. Coleman had an excellent game finishing with 157 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown. Hokies quarterback Michael Brewer did enough to help secure the victory going 14 of 24 passing with 94 yards and touchdown. He threw an early interception that led to a Bearcats touchdown.

Bearcats quarterback Gunner Kiel struggled all day before exiting with an injury. He was consistently under pressure which would cause him to throw 2 interceptions. He finished the day going 14 of 26 with 244 yards and a touchdown. Playing from behind much of the game, the Bearcats abandoned the run. Wide receivers Shaq Washington and Chris Moore combined for 9 catches for 203 yards with Moore catching 2 touchdown passes.

The victory ensures that head coach Frank Beamer extends his streak of winning seasons to over two decades. This victory will also look to provide hope for momentum going into next season for the Hokies.