|Annapolis , MD–
On Navy has accepted an invitation to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl and will match up against an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference, bowl executive director Will Webb said.
The Midshipmen (6-3), who became bowl-eligible, by beating Duke, will play in a bowl game for the school-record fourth straight year.
“Navy adds a lot of pageantry, certainly a very good record they’re going to have coming in thisyear, a lot of fans and this will be their first bowl on the East Coast in a long time,” Webb said.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based bowl had matched teams from the Big East and ACC every year since its inception in 2002. But before this season, bowl officials announced a one-time agreement that would allow them to choose Navy instead of a Big East team.
“Navy wanted to make sure they had a home to go to, and to get a deal done with them, we had to say, ‘If you are bowl-eligible, then we will select you,”‘ Webb said. “We’re not at all unhappy with the Big East. It was just the way the contract worked out.”
The Meineke Bowl gets the fifth, sixth or seventh choice from among the ACC’s bowl eligible teams under a deal worked with the Music City and Emerald bowls. Last year, North Carolina State beat South Florida 14-0 in the bowl and each team got a $750,000 payout.
Navy’s unique option offense leads the nation in rushing, averaging 325 yards on the ground. The Midshipmen rank last in Division I-A in passing at 50 yards per game.
“We are grateful for their confidence in Navy and, as has been the case over the past three postseasons, their community can count on Navy to deliver both on and off the field,” Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said.
The Meineke Bowl kicks off at 1 p.m. on Dec. 30 at Bank of America Stadium.