NC State, UNC and Duke gear up for football bowl games

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CHAPEL HILL (COURTESY UNC) – The University of North Carolina has accepted an invitation to play in the 2015 Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Baylor on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 5:30 p.m. The game will be played in Orlando’s Citrus Bowl Stadium and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

“We’re looking forward to competing in the Russell Athletic Bowl and representing the University of North Carolina and the Atlantic Coast Conference,” says head coach Larry Fedora. “This is a great opportunity for our players to continue the season and have a terrific experience in Orlando. Baylor is an outstanding program from the Big 12 that has an electrifying offense and should be a tremendous challenge for our team.”

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The UNC Ticket Office and The Rams Club will take priority requests for Russell Athletic Bowl tickets through Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 5 pm. Requests will be taken online through Tuesday at 11:59 pm.

This will be Fedora’s seventh bowl appearance as a head coach. The Russell Athletic Bowl is Carolina’s 32nd all-time bowl game, and first in Florida since the 1998 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.

The Tar Heels are No. 10 in the College Football Playoff and Associated Press Top 25 polls and No. 11 in the Amway Coaches poll. Carolina is 11-2 overall and won Coastal Division title. UNC is averaging more than 40 points per game and 486 yards per game.



Baylor finished the regular season 9-3 overall and 6-3 in the Big 12. This will be the first time the two schools have met on the gridiron. In 1995, North Carolina defeated Arkansas, 20-10, in the 1995 Carquest Bowl in Miami, forerunner to the current Russell Athletic Bowl. This year’s Russell Athletic Bowl marks just the second matchup between teams with a combined 20 wins (2013-Louisville, Miami).

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RALEIGH, NC (COURTESY NC STATE) — NC State has accepted a bid to the 2015 Belk Bowl, which will be played in Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday, December 30. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.

The Wolfpack will face Southeastern Conference opponent Mississippi State in the contest. The Bulldogs boast an 8-4 overall record with a 4-4 mark in conference play. It will mark the sixth meeting between the two schools and the third in a postseason bowl. The Wolfpack defeated the Bulldogs 28-24 in the 1994 Peach Bowl in the last meeting and lost to MSU in the 1963 Liberty Bowl in Philadelphia.

“We are both excited and thankful for the opportunity to play instate at the Belk Bowl in the great city of Charlotte,” said Doeren, who has now coached bowl eligible teams 11 of the 14 years he’s been a full-time D1 coach. “The Belk Bowl allows the NC State fan base a tremendous opportunity to support their Wolfpack 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.”

Ten players on the NC State squad call Charlotte their hometown: C Tony Adams, OG Garrett Bradbury, WR Naquan Brown, LS Ben Garnett, WR Vernon Grier, QB Jalan McClendon, DE Emmanuel Olenga, TE/FB Jaylen Samuels, CB Jack Tocho, and OT Philip Walton, Jr.

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DURHAM, NC (COURTESY DUKE) — Duke (7-5, 4-4 ACC) plays in its fourth consecutive bowl game by meeting Indiana (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday, December 26 … Kickoff at Yankee Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. … ABC will broadcast the game with Rece Davis, Danny Kanell, Joey Galloway & Paul Carcaterra

• Duke and Indiana have met three previous times on the gridiron … The Hoosiers claimed wins in 1980 (31-21 in Bloomington) and 1983 (15-10 in Bloomington) … Duke secured a 31-24 triumph in 1984 in Durham

• The Blue Devils will make their 12th bowl game appearance and hold an all-time record of 3-8 … Duke’s last bowl game win was a 7-6 victory over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl on January 2, 1961 … The other two bowl victories came against Alabama (29-26; Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1945) & Nebraska (34-7; Orange Bowl on January 1, 1955)

• Duke aims for its eighth win of the season in an attempt to post three straight years with 8+ victories for the first time in school history

• Against Indiana, David Cutcliffe will participate in the 26th bowl game of his coaching career … As an assistant coach, he helped Tennessee to 17 bowl games (11-6) while also guiding Ole Miss (5; 4-1) and Duke (4; 0-3) to bowls as a head coach

• Dating back to the 2013 season, the Blue Devils are 24-8 in their last 32 regular season games … The only schools with more wins during that stretch are Ohio State (30), Florida State (30), Alabama (29), Michigan State (29), Baylor (27), Clemson (27), Oregon (26), Wisconsin (25) & Oklahoma (24)

• S Jeremy Cash – the sixth consensus All-America pick in Duke history – will miss the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Indiana after undergoing wrist surgery on December 16 … A three-time All-America pick and two-time team captain, Cash closes his 39-game Duke with 333 tackles, 38.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks, six INTs, nine caused fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 15 PBUs and 15 QB pressures