Kickoff: Thursday, Dec. 27, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC
Forecast: Cloudy, wind gusts up to 20 mph. Game-time temperature -- mid 40s.
Spread: Cincinnati by 7
Watchability: The game marks Duke's first bowl appearance since the 1994 season. Cincinnati is in transition after head coach Butch Jones left on Dec. 7 for Tennessee. Steve Stripling will serve as interim coach for the bowl game before turning the team over to Tommy Tuberville
Shining stars: Duke -- QB Sean Renfree had a 136.43 passer rating this season, second best in team history, behind Ben Bettett's 142.45 in 1982. Cincinnati -- QB Brendon Kay took the starting job from Munchie Legaux for the season's final four games. He completed 61.9 percent of his passes and averaged 6.1 yards per rush.
Who could steal the show: Duke -- WR Conner Vernon set six ACC records, including the career marks for catches and yardage. He's had a 50-yard TD catch all four years of his Duke career and a 70-yarder in three seasons, both ACC records. Cincinnati -- RB George Winn finished second in the Big East in rushing with 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Magic number for Duke: 7. That's how many games the Blue Devils have scored more than 30 points this season, which ties a school record. Their 31.3 points per game are fifth best in school history.
Magic number for Cincinnati: 17.2. That's how many points the Bearcats give up on average, the team's best scoring defense since 1981. They've held three of their last four opponents to 10 points or fewer.
3 keys to a Duke win
- Kick PATs, not field goals: One reason Cincinnati's defense has been so stingy is that the Bearcats have allowed just 22 touchdowns in 12 games. The Blue Devils had three times as many touchdowns (32) as field goals (10) in their wins. They had 15 TDs and 8 FGs in their losses.
- Get big plays on defense and special teams: Duke scored four touchdowns on defense and special teams this season. The defense has been ravaged by injury, to the point that freshman running back Shaquille Powell has been moved to safety for the game. If the defense can come up with takeaways and produce points, it will help Duke avoid a battle of attrition.
- Stop the run: Duke's defense gave up 153.1 yards a game on the ground in the first eight games, and 294.5 in the final four -- all losses. If the Blue Devils allow Winn to break off big runs and wear down the defensive front, it could be a long day.
3 keys to an Cincinnati win
- Defend the pass: Duke receivers Vernon, Jamison Crowder, and Desmond Scott each caught more than 60 passes this season, and their 206 combined receptions are a school record for a trio of teammates.
- Strike quickly on offense: Cincinnati has had seven touchdown drives this season that lasted less than a minute. The Bearcats had three games with two drives of less than a minute.
- Hold onto the ball: The Bearcats were 5-0 in games where they didn't commit a turnover, and they closed the season with three straight fumble-free games. They were 4-3 in games where they turned the ball over.
Prediction: Cincinnati 21, Duke 19
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.