ACC Bowl Bids: Duke to face A&M; Miami draws L’ville
ATLANTA — Johnny Manziel might play his final
college game in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
No. 20 Texas
A&M, led by the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, will face No. 22
Duke in the first-ever meeting between the schools on New Year’s Eve at
the Georgia Dome, officials announced Sunday
Manziel is a third-year sophomore, making him
eligible to enter the 2014 NFL draft. He hasn’t revealed his plans for
next season after guiding Texas A&M to a disappointing 8-4
record, with all four losses coming against fellow Southeastern
Conference teams ranked among the top 14 in The Associated Press
Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said Manziel has yet
to make a decision on turning pro.
“If he does, he
does,” the coach said. “Right now, we’re looking through that and
evaluating his future. Then we’ll go from
Duke (10-3) was a surprising division winner
in the Atlantic Coast Conference, posting the most wins ever at a school
known more for basketball. The Blue Devils are eager to make up for
their performance in the league championship game Saturday night, when
they were routed by top-ranked Florida State
“The invitation to the Chick-fil-A Bowl is the
perfect medicine for us,” coach David Cutcliffe said. “To play a team
with the reputation and history and tradition they have at Texas
A&M, to play the caliber of team they have, it’s going to revive
our guys quickly. It didn’t go like we wanted last night, but the
nation will be watching this game, so we want to put our best foot
Manziel will clearly be the star attraction
in Atlanta. While Johnny Football is not expected to repeat as the
Heisman winner after becoming the first freshman to win college
football’s top individual award, he put up another stellar season with
3,732 yards passing and 33 touchdowns, as well as leading the Aggies in
rushing with 686 yards and eight TDs.
No. 18 Louisville, Miami in Russell Athletic
— The Russell Athletic Bowl might have sort of a Miami
celebration feel to it.
After two years of
self-imposed bowl exile during an NCAA investigation, Miami will play in
its first game since 2010 when it meets No. 18 Louisville in the Dec.
28 matchup at Orlando’s Florida Citrus Bowl.
is also a Miami reunion for Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. A
native of the South Florida city, he will be lined up against the school
he grew up watching and initially committed to coming out of high
But most importantly, it will be a chance for
Bridgewater and Louisville (11-1) to put a happy stamp on a season that
fell short of the school’s second straight BCS appearance. The
Cardinals, coming off a Sugar Bowl win, lost that chance after blowing a
21-point lead in their lone loss of the year to BCS-bound UCF back in
The setback also dealt a big blow to
Bridgewater’s Heisman Trophy campaign. But with about 25 players on
Louisville’s roster with Florida ties, Cardinals coach Charlie Strong
said it’s nice to give them a homecoming.
always trying to raise expectations and always trying to lift the
profile of Louisville,” Strong said. “With us ending the season against
this opponent, it will give a lot of viewers that are watching the
opportunity to see what type of team we have.”
Hurricanes (9-3) won their first seven games of the season and rose as
high as No. 7 in The Associated Press rankings before losing three in a
row to Florida State, Virginia Tech and
faces Arizona in AdvoCare V100
SHREVEPORT, La. — Two of
the nation’s top running backs will meet Dec. 31 when Arizona faces
Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
College’s Andre Williams leads all Football Bowl Subdivision players
this season with 2,102 yards rushing this season. Arizona’s Ka’Deem
Carey, the Pac-12 offensive player of the year, has rushed for 1,716
yards and ranks second nationally with 156 yards rushing per
Williams, Carey and Washington’s Bishop Sankey
are the three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the
nation’s top running back.
“Maybe the two best backs
in the country are squaring off in the same bowl game,” Arizona coach
Rich Rodriguez said. “It’s very compelling, and I think it will make for
The AdvoCare V100 Bowl — formerly
known as the Independence Bowl — typically matches an Atlantic Coast
Conference team against a Southeastern Conference school, but the SEC
didn’t have enough bowl-eligible teams to send someone to Shreveport
this season. The AdvoCare 100 Bowl instead invited Arizona (7-5) from
Boston College has been one of the ACC’s
biggest surprises. The Eagles went from 2-10 in 2012 to 7-5 this season
in the first year of Steve Addazio’s coaching
“We’re thrilled,” Addazio said in a
university release. “We’re excited. The players are excited and they are
all fired up. It’s an exciting time for Boston
This marks only the fourth time in the
38-year history of this bowl that it has included a Pac-12 team.
Washington beat Tulane 24-12 in 1987. Oregon beat Tulsa 27-24 in 1989
and lost 39-35 to Wake Forest in 1992.
coaching staff does have some Louisiana roots. Rodriguez was Tulane’s
offensive coordinator for two years, including the Green Wave’s
undefeated season in 1998. Arizona co-offensive coordinator Calvin Magee
is a New Orleans native.
“I’m sure we’ll see some
friends and folks there and maybe have some Cajun food at the same
time,” Rodriguez said. “More than anything, we’re excited to put our
program out there and try to win a football
This represents the first time Arizona and
Boston College have faced each other.
Virginia Tech-UCLA is
set for Sun Bowl on Dec. 31
Texas — Virginia Tech and UCLA have accepted bids to meet for
the first time in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.
Tech (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) played its first postseason
game in the 1947 Sun Bowl, losing to Cincinnati. This will be the
Hokies’ 21st consecutive bowl appearance under coach Frank
No. 17 UCLA (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) will be making
its fourth appearance in the Sun Bowl. The Bruins came from behind to
beat Northwestern 50-38 in their last appearance in El Paso, in
The Hokies are led by Thomas Logan, who has
completed 57 percent of his passes for 2,861 yards and 16
UCLA’s Myles Jack is the Pac-12’s
freshman of the year on both offense and defense after starring at
linebacker and as a running back.
Music City Bowl pits Mississippi vs. Georgia
Tenn. — The Mississippi Rebels will finish the season in the
same place where they started back in August.
Rebels will play Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in a
pairing announced Sunday night. Ole Miss opened the season beating
Vanderbilt a couple miles from LP Field, home of the bowl game. Now the
Rebels are back in this bowl for the second time.
have one of the great bowl traditions in all of college football, and
I’m excited that we have earned a bowl berth in each of our first two
seasons,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “I appreciate the
unbelievable support Rebel Nation has provided our team, and I look
forward to seeing a sea of Red and Blue in
Ole Miss (7-5) finished on a two-game
skid that dropped the Rebels out of the Top 25 rankings. The Rebels
played in the BBVA Compass Bowl last season.
will be the 35th bowl appearance all-time by Ole Miss. The Rebels are
22-12, including last season when Ole Miss beat Pittsburgh 38-17 at the
BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., to cap Freeze’s first
The last time Ole Miss played in the Music
City Bowl, David Cutcliffe was the coach and Eli Manning was the Rebels’
quarterback. That’s the only bowl the Rebels have lost over the past 10
bowl trips going back to the 1992 Liberty Bowl.
Miss lost 49-38 to West Virginia in their first Music City Bowl. These
Rebels have plenty of Tennessee connections starting at quarterback in
Bo Wallace, a native of Giles County, and a running back in I’Tavius
Mathers from nearby Murfreesboro.
Cincinnati will face North Carolina in Belk
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The
Cincinnati Bearcats will look to defend their Belk Bowl title Dec. 28
against North Carolina.
The Bearcats will be making
their second straight appearance in the game after defeating Duke 48-34
last year in Charlotte, Belk Bowl officials announced Sunday
“We are very excited to have North Carolina
playing in the 2013 Belk Bowl,” said Belk Bowl executive director Will
Webb said in a release. “The Tar Heels finished the season very strong,
as did Cincinnati, and it should provide a great matchup on the
Cincinnati finished 9-3 overall and in second
place in the American Athletic Conference at 6-2. They finished strong
by winning six of their final seven games.
head coach Tommy Tuberville said in a release “the opportunity to play
another game is huge for our team, our fans and for recruiting. It’s
exciting and a tribute to our great fans that the Belk Bowl has selected
Cincinnati two years in a row.”
defeated Duke last year in the Belk Bowl behind the play of quarterback
Brendon Kay, who named the game’s MVP.
The Tar Heels
(6-6) bounced back from a 1-5 start this season to win five of their
last six games to become bowl eligible. However, their regular season
ended with a disappointing 27-25 loss to rival Duke at home.
Bowling Green, Pitt to
play in Pizza Bowl
of the biggest wins in school history in Detroit, Bowling Green is
headed back to Ford Field.
The MAC champion Falcons
will face Pittsburgh of the ACC in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec.
The Falcons (10-3) beat previously undefeated
Northern Illinois 47-27 in the MAC title game at Ford Field on Friday
night, their fifth straight win.
It’s the third bowl
bid in five seasons for Bowling Green and the 11th in school history.
But it’s also the program’s first trip to the Pizza Bowl in 10
“We are excited to play in a great environment
like Ford Field again, so close to our campus, with our fans and
students being able to make the trip,” Falcons coach Dave Clawson
Pitt will be making its sixth straight trip to a
bowl game and will be the first ACC team to make the trip to
The Panthers, who went 3-5 in their first
season in their new league, are 2-1 against Bowling Green since
“Bowling Green was impressive not only in their
MAC Championship win, but all season long and we have a competitive
game of football ahead,” Pitt coach Paul Chryst
The Falcons rank fifth in the nation in scoring
defense at just 14.8 points a game, although they gave up 42 points in a
loss at Indiana.
Pitt has been one of the worst
teams in the country at running the ball, but Tom Savage has thrown for
2,834 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.
Syracuse, Minnesota to meet in Texas
Minnesota improved by two
wins in 2013, its best regular season in a
The Gophers reward? A return to the same bowl
they lost in a year ago.
Minnesota will play in the
Texas Bowl for the second straight time when it faces Syracuse on Dec.
The Gophers (8-4) have their most wins since 2003
but wound up in Houston yet again. Minnesota blew a 10-point lead in
the final 1:10 and lost to Texas Tech 34-31 in last year’s Texas
Still, Minnesota is excited to be playing in
December after many believed it would struggle to even reach bowl
“We enjoyed our experience last year and
wish we could have come away with a victory,” Minnesota head coach
Jerry Kill said. “I know our players, especially the 12 from Texas,
welcome the opportunity to represent the University of Minnesota in a
state that has great football tradition
(6-6) finished 4-4 in its first season in the ACC and rallied past
Boston College in the regular-season finale to earn bowl
This will be the first postseason game
in Texas for the Orange since they beat the Longhorns in the 1960 Cotton
Bowl in Dallas.
“I couldn’t be happier for our
senior class to have the opportunity to go to Texas and play a Big Ten
school. One of the things I have enjoyed the most about this season is
our seniors. They are tough kids who never give in,” Syracuse coach
Scott Shafer said.
Minnesota is 3-1 against Syracuse,
including a 17-10 win in 2012. But the Orange have won their last two
postseason games, both at Yankee Stadium in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Marshall in Military
— Maryland won’t have to cross the state line for its first
bowl appearance since 2010.
The Terrapins (7-5) will
face Marshall (9-4) in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27. The game will be
held at the home stadium of the Naval Academy, which is around 28 miles
from the Maryland campus.
“We get a chance to play in
our state capital,” Terps coach Randy Edsall said Sunday night. “We
hope we can get all our fans and people from this area to come out and
support us and be part of the great game-day atmosphere that’s going to
take place in Annapolis.”
Maryland finished 7-5 this
season to earn its first bowl bid under Edsall, now in his third year
with the Terrapins. The last time Maryland played in the postseason, it
beat East Carolina when the Military Bowl was held in the nation’s
capital and Ralph Friedgen was head coach.
be the sixth Military Bowl, the first in
“Being close to home, it allows us to play
in front of our recruiting base,” Edsall said. “Our players’ parents
and families will be able to come out in full force to watch
Marshall received its invitation on Saturday.
The Thundering Herd went 9-4 and won the Conference USA East Division
title before falling to Rice in the league championship
Marshall and Maryland have never played each
other in football.
“Maryland has built plenty of
momentum and finished this season strong, while Marshall features a
high-powered offense,” Military Bowl President & Executive
Director Steve Beck said. “We’re excited about this game being one of
our best ever.”
The Thundering Herd is led by
quarterback Rakeem Cato, who ranks second in Conference USA in passing
(275.3 yards per game) and has thrown 36 touchdown
“I have great respect for the ACC and great
respect for Maryland,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. “Randy has done
a tremendous job there. … I think our football team as a whole is
excited to be able to play a team the caliber of Maryland.”