Heading into the game, Ohio University finished their regular season slate with a perfect 10–0–0 record. The Bobcats also held a #15 Associated Press (AP) national ranking. The 1970 Ohio Bobcats football team had one of the most potent offenses the nation and was spearheaded by quarterbackCleve Bryant. Ohio was one of only three NCAA programs to finish their regular season with an unbeaten and untied record.
The University of Richmond entered with an 8–3–0 record. They were Southern Conference champions after having finished 6–0–0 in conference play. They were decided underdogs against Ohio and the national media did not give them much of a chance to compete, let alone win the game. The upset-minded Spiders did just that, however, winning their first-ever postseason bowl game 49–42. It would ultimately be Richmond's only bowl victory (they lost in their only other bowl appearance, the 1971 Tangerine Bowl).
After the loss, the Bobcats would finished #20 in the final AP Poll.