RALEIGH, NC (NCSU) — NC State has accepted a bid to play AAC opponent UCF in the 2014 Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.on December 26. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.
The invitation concludes an exciting turnaround season for the Wolfpack that saw the squad boast the second-best improvement of any team in the Power 5 conferences. Second-year head coach Dave Doeren led the Pack to a 7-5 record, a four-game improvement from his first season in Raleigh.
“We are both excited and thankful for the opportunity to play in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” said Doeren, who has now coached bowl eligible teams 10 of the 13 years he’s been a full-time D1 coach. “We know that the NC State fan base will enjoy the opportunity to support their Wolfpack in a great city and I look forward to seeing a sea of red on game day! This is a great reward for our young team that has continued to improve over the course of the season, especially for the 12 current players from Florida who will be able to be home for the holidays.”
NC State won three of its last four games, outscoring its opponents 77-20 in the last two games of the season – wins over Wake Forest and North Carolina.
“St. Petersburg is a beautiful, warm weather destination to play our bowl. Congratulations to our players and coaches,” said Wolfpack Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow.
This will mark the Pack’s 28th all-time postseason appearance (14-12-1) and its 10th bowl game since 2000.
NC State has faced UCF twice, falling at home to the Knights, 22-25, in the 2007 season opener and winning in Orlando 28-21 in 2010. UCF posts a 9-3 record in 2014 and is the American Athletic Conference co-champions along with Memphis and Cincinnati.
Wolfpack Club members and NC State fans can reserve tickets via this link http://ev10.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=BOWL&linkID=ncsu&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode= now. The priority deadline for Wolfpack Club members is Wednesday, Dec. 10.
Tickets are $80 and can be purchased on-line at the GoPack.com Ticket Center or by phone through the NC State Ticket Office at (919) 865-1510. Seating assignments will be determined by Wolfpack Club Priority Rank.
For Wolfpack Club travel info, please visit www.wolfpackclubtravel.com
DETROIT (AP) – North Carolina and Rutgers are headed to Detroit to play in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26.
The Tar Heels ended their regular season with a stunning 35-7 loss to rival North Carolina State. But North Carolina beat Pittsburgh and Duke in the previous weeks to become bowl eligible.
Rutgers finished 7-5 in its first season as a member of the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights rallied from 25 down to stun Maryland 41-38 in their regular season finale.
It will be the seventh overall meeting between North Carolina and Rutgers and the fifth since 2006.
EL PASO, TX (AP) – Duke and Arizona State will play for the first time when they meet in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 27.
Duke (9-3) will be playing in the postseason for an unprecedented third year in a row. The 15th-ranked Sun Devils (9-3, No. 15 CFP) are in their fourth straight bowl and in the Sun Bowl for the fifth time.
Arizona State will be going for back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since Frank Kush led teams to double-digit totals in every season from 1970-73.
The Sun Devils are 13-13-1 in bowls. They are 2-1-1 in the Sun Bowl, last appearing in El Paso in 2004.
Duke is 3-7 in bowls. The Blue Devils played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2013 and the Belk Bowl in 2012.
GREENVILLE, NC (ECU) — East Carolina has accepted an invitation to play in the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field on Jan. 3, according to a joint announcement by bowl officials and the American Athletic Conference Sunday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon (ET) against Florida, which will enter the bowl season with an overall mark of 6-5 and a Southeastern Conference record of 4-4. The Pirates and Gators have faced off once previously with Florida posting a 24-17 victory in Gainesville on Oct. 22, 1983. The two teams are scheduled to meet at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium again next Sept. 12.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Florida, a program rich in tradition out of a conference which has our highest respect,” fifth-year ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill said. “We are excited to have another opportunity to accomplish something special for this senior class, especially against a team the caliber of the Gators.”
All bowl-related tickets (game, tailgate, donations) can be purchased now via Bowl Ticket Central, East Carolina’s online post-season ticketing platform, or by placing orders over the phone (252-737-4500/1-800-DIAL-ECU) or in person at the ECU Athletics Ticket Office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
A ticket price of $50 has been established for the contest, while a $25 ticket is available for purchase by ECU students. Fans are reminded that all tickets purchased through official East Carolina outlets benefit the Pirates directly.
Seats will be assigned based upon Pirate Club priority system and the deadline to order tickets is Monday, December 15 at 5:00 p.m. ECU will also be selling tickets for the Pirate Club Pregame Tailgate Party and those have been set at $30. This event is open to all members of the Pirate Club, Alumni Association and Pirate Nation, and includes social activities, food and drinks.
For additional information, such as travel packages and a schedule of events, fans are encouraged to visit ECU’s devoted online bowl page.
East Carolina (8-4, 5-3 American) will be making its eighth bowl appearance in the last nine years. The Pirates played in the Papajohns.com Bowl in 2006, the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl in 2007, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl after the 2008 and 2009 seasons, the Military Bowl in 2010, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in 2012 before downing Ohio 37-20 in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. last December.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – No. 13 Georgia meets No. 20 Louisville on Dec. 30 in a Belk Bowl matchup that matches Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham against his former team.
Grantham was Georgia’s defensive coordinator from 2010-13 before taking over the same position at Louisville this season.
Both teams have withstood injuries to key players.
Georgia (9-3) lost running back Todd Gurley to a torn anterior cruciate ligament after he returned from a four-game suspension. Louisville (9-3) lost starting quarterback Will Gardner to a knee injury last month, and receiver DeVante Parker missed the first seven games of the season with a foot injury.
Georgia is 13th and Louisville is 21st in the College Football Playoff standings that were released Sunday. The Cardinals closed the regular season on a three-game winning streak.