Conference USA bowl match-ups finalized
UCF, Tulsa and East Carolina find out holiday destinations
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
After a week of waiting, UCF took care of Tulsa, 44-25, on Saturday to capture the program’s first CUSA title.
With the victory, UCF (10-3, 8-1) wrapped up a trip to Memphis and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl where it will face Mississippi State (7-5, 4-4) on December 29 in a 4:30 p.m. (EST) kickoff. The Golden Knights have won seven straight while the Bulldogs are coming off a 17-14 comeback win over arch-rival Ole Miss in the “Egg Bowl” on Senior Day in Starkville.
As a result of UCF’s win, East Carolina and Tulsa finally found out where they would be playing their final games of the season.
CUSA West Division champion Tulsa (9-4, 6-3) will head to the “home of Mardi Gras” and will square off against Bowling Green in the GMAC Bowl. First year head coach Todd Graham and the Golden Hurricane will face the Falcons (8-4, 6-2) at 8 p.m. (EST) on January 6, 2008 in the next to last game of the bowl season. The contest will air nationally on ESPN.
East Carolina (7-5, 6-2) is headed to the Hawaiian Islands where it will take part in an intriguing and very challenging match-up with intersectional WAC foe No. 22 Boise State. The Pirates and Broncos will kick their first ever meeting off on December 23 at 8:00 (EST) on ESPN.
Southern Miss, Houston and Memphis already knew where they were headed, but now know who their bowl opponents will be.
Southern Miss (7-5, 5-3) will be taking the field for the final time under Jeff Bower when it plays former Conference USA and current Big East member Cincinnati (9-3, 4-3) on December 22 in the PapaJohns.com Bowl at historic Legion Field in Birmingham. The Golden Eagles and Bearcats are scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. (EST) start on ESPN2.
Last year’s league champion Houston (8-4, 6-2) is staying home for the holidays. The Cougars, who recently lost head coach Art Briles to Baylor, will meet in-state rival and former Conference USA member TCU in the Texas Bowl on December 28 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The Horned Frogs finished 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the Mountain West. The game will be televised on the NFL Network and kicks at 8:00 p.m (EST).
After not going bowling last season, Memphis is making its third bowl appearance in four years under Tommy West. The Tigers (7-5, 6-2) will face Florida Atlantic (7-5, 6-1) in the R+L Carrier New Orleans Bowl on December 21 in the Superdome. Their contest with the Sun Belt champion Owls will begin at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2.
There will be previews of each of these six bowl games featuring CUSA teams released in the coming days. Keep checking back to CUSA-Fans.com for your Conference USA bowl coverage.