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“As disappointed as I am, you know, that’s life,” running back John Goebel said. “Sometimes life will throw you curveballs. We didn’t come into this season thinking we were not going to a bowl game.”

Pittsburgh is eligible for a bowl already, but another loss to Cincinnati would leave them wondering if they’re wanted.

“They took it away from us last year,” fullback Henry Hynoski said. “And we’re not going to let them take it away from us this year.”

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AP Sports Writer Alan Robinson in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.