The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders are going to its fourth bowl game in the Rick Stockstill era and first as new members of Conference USA.
Middle Tennessee was officially extended an invitation on Sunday for Stockstill's Blue Raiders to represent Conference USA in the 11th Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30, 2013. It will mark the fourth bowl game of the FBS (I-A) era for Middle Tennessee and the eighth bowl game in school history.
The game against Navy (7-4) will kick off at 10:45 a.m. (CT) from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU. The game will air on WGNS. It will mark the seventh meeting between the two programs and first since 1969.
"We are thrilled to extend our season in Fort Worth and appreciate the invitation by the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl," said Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. "Coach Stockstill and I have always thought Ft. Worth would be desirable postseason site and, along with our fans, we cannot wait to get there. Our football program has enjoyed a thrilling first year in Conference USA and they have certainly earned the right to be a part of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl."
The Blue Raiders (8-4) will be facing a Navy team that is 7-4 and ranks third nationally in rushing, while having the nation's leading scorer in Keenan Reynolds. The Midshipmen, who will be making their 10th bowl trip in the last 11 years, will play their final regular season game on Dec. 14 against Army for the Commander-in-Chief's trophy.
"It is hard to describe how appreciative we are to be playing in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl," said Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "The city of Fort Worth and the surrounding community put on a first-class event which will serve as a great reward for a successful season. We can't wait to arrive and get the week started."
The Blue Raiders enter the postseason riding a five-game winning streak after going 6-2 in league play to finish tied for second in the East Division of C-USA.
Fans need to purchase tickets through the Middle Tennessee ticket office by calling 1-888-YES-MTSU or logging onto GoBlueRaiders.com. Tickets for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will include an official T-Shirt. The commemorative shirt will be a collector's item and fans are encouraged to wear it at the game.
The Blue Raiders will return to practice on Friday and will leave for the bowl game on Dec. 26.
Middle Tennessee Bowl History
1956 Refrigerator Bowl - Evansville, IN
Sam Houston State 27, MT 13
1960 Tangerine Bowl - Orlando, FL
MT 21, Presbyterian 12
1961 Tangerine Bowl - Orlando, FL
Lamar Tech 21, MT 14
1964 Grantland Rice Bowl - Murfreesboro, TN
MT 20, Muskingum 0
2006 Motor City Bowl - Detroit, MI
Central Michigan 31, MT 14
2009 New Orleans Bowl - New Orleans
MT 42, Southern Miss 32
2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl - Mobile, AL
Miami (OH) 35, MT 21