Marshall accepts bid to Military Bowl
HOUSTON -- After Marshall University's 41-24 loss to Rice in the Conference USA Championship, the Military Bowl announced the Thundering Herd accepted a bid to the Dec. 27 contest in Annapolis, Md.
The bowl game will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and be nationally-televised by ESPN.
"We couldn't be more excited to have the Thundering Herd travel to the National Capital Region," Military Bowl President and Executive Director Steve Beck said. "As evidenced on the field this season, Marshall has a terrific team and we are sure their fans will enjoy our hospitality."
The Herd won the Conference USA East Division before falling in its quest for the first-ever C-USA title in school history.
Marshall (9-4) will be matched in the bowl against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.
A formal announcement has to be made Sunday evening -- when all bowls are announced -- and Josh Barr, director of media relations for the Military Bowl, said a formal announcement on the bowl will likely not come until 8:45 p.m. because of the chances that the ACC gets two teams in the BCS bowls. Those bowls will be announced around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night.
Beck told the Washington Post newspaper earlier in the week that it likely comes down to Maryland, Boston College, Syracuse and Pittsburgh with the chain of events being predicated on the Saturday night ACC Championship game between Florida State and Duke.
Many national outlets are predicting a matchup with Maryland due to the team's stronghold in its home state, but Barr said there are several scenarios in play and the Terrapins are not a lock at this point.
Regardless of opponent, the Military Bowl provides Marshall fans the opportunity to drive to a bowl game within a reasonable distance against a team from a bigger conference. It is approximately a 7-hour drive to Annapolis from Huntington.
Once the Herd solidified bowl eligibility on the field, Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick has spoken at length about wanting to be in games fans can drive to so they can take part in the event while showing their support nationally.
Hamrick was flying back with the team Saturday and not available for comment when the announcement came from Military Bowl representatives.
Marshall will be making its 11th bowl appearance with a 7-3 record.
This will be the first time Marshall has faced an ACC opponent in a bowl game.