Duke to play in Belk Bowl; NC State in Music City
Posted December 2, 2012
Updated December 3, 2012
For their first bowl appearance since 1994, Duke will not even need to board a plane. The Blue Devils accepted a bid Sunday to play in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 27 against Cincinnati.
“I could not be more excited for our players – especially the seniors – to earn a berth in the Belk Bowl against a very good and well-coached Cincinnati team,” ACC Coach of the Year David Cutcliffe said. “I thought coming out of spring practice that we had a chance to be a good team – a bowl-caliber team. We battled through some adversity, received tremendous leadership from our captains and reached the goal of playing in the postseason.”
NC State also accepted a bowl bid Sunday, the same day new head coach Dave Doeren was announced to succeed Tom O’Brien. The Wolfpack will take on Vanderbilt on New Year’s Eve in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.
“The team is very excited about this opportunity to play one more game,” said quarterback and team captain Mike Glennon. “Nashville is a great town and we’ve heard that they really put on an exciting bowl week. We are planning to work hard and have fun and end our season on a positive note against a quality opponent.”
While this will be the third consecutive bowl appearance for NC State and 27th all-time, this marks just the ninth bowl game in Duke history. Duke appeared in six bowl games between 1938-60 then were shutout until a 1989 appearance in the All-American Bowl in 1989. They lost in their last bowl appearance in 1994 to Wisconsin, 34-20.
“Duke has made great strides this season and we are very proud to have them representing the ACC against the Co-Champions of the Big East,” said Will Webb, executive director of the Belk Bowl. “We feel that the Blue Devils will provide a good matchup against the Bearcats in Charlotte.
Cincinnati (9-3) defeated Connecticut Saturday, 31-17, and earned a share of the Big East title. However, based on the BC Standings, the Bearcats were shut out of the BCS bowl games in favor of future ACC member, Louisville.
The Wolfpack (7-5) is looking for its third straight bowl win and is one of only 12 programs that has won two bowl games in a row. The take on a Vandy team that finished 8-4 and managed five SEC wins. The only previous meeting between the schools came back in 1946 with Vandy winning 7-0.
Elsewhere in the ACC, Florida State will play in the Orange Bowl against BCS-buster Northern Illinois. Doeren, who was formally announced as NC State’s head coach Sunday will not coach the bowl game for the Huskies.
“If NIU gets a BCS bowl, that would be fantastic," Doeren said at the press conference. "At 12-1 I hope they get that opportunity."
Clemson will play No. 8 LSU in the Chic-fli-A Bowl in Atlanta, Virginia Tech will face Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando and Georgia Tech will take on Southern California in the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso.
North Carolina won enough games to qualify for a bowl but will not participate due to NCAA sanctions. Miami also would have been eligible, but opted not to play as a self-imposed sanction ahead of possible NCAA violations.
“This is a great opportunity for our seniors to end the season on a winning note,” Cutcliffe said. “For our returning players, it is going to be a chance to gain invaluable experience and practice opportunity as we continue to grow as a program.”