KNOXVILLE -- The University of Tennessee football team will make its first appearance in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl later this month, as the Vols have accepted a bid to play against the University of North Carolina from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Dec. 30, in Nashville, Tenn.
Tennessee accepted the school’s 49th overall bowl invitation, tying the Vols with the University of Texas for the second-most bowl appearances in college football history.
The inaugural appearance in the 13th edition of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl is the first in a new bowl game for the Vols since 1993, when Tennessee made its first trip to the Outback/Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa, Fla. All other bowl trips since then have been repeat visits for the Vols.
“We are certainly excited about the invitation, and I know our players are looking forward to the opportunity to compete against a great opponent.” said Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley. “This will be the fourth stadium that we play in the state of Tennessee this year, and the support we’ve had at every stadium has been phenomenal. I know our fans will be there in full force in Nashville.”
In addition to the seven home games played at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, the Vols also played at the Liberty Bowl against the University of Memphis on Nov. 6 and at Dudley Field against Vanderbilt on Nov. 20.
“I’m proud of our football team and how they finished the season, and playing in the Music City Bowl is a tremendous reward for our team, staff, and fans,” said Tennessee Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton. “We’re excited about the trip to Nashville and about playing in LP Field in a stadium filled with orange. We also look forward to working with a longtime friend in Scott Ramsey and his great staff at the Music City Bowl.”
This will be the 32nd meeting between Tennessee and North Carolina on the football field and the first since 1961. Tennessee owns a 20-10-1 edge in the all-time series, including wins in 11 of the last 13 games played (between 1949-61). The two teams met in 17 consecutive seasons from 1945-61, but they have never met in a bowl game.
“The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl is thrilled to host the student-athletes, administrators and fans from the University of North Carolina and the University of Tennessee,” said Bowl chair Christine Karbowiak. “Music City is a great destination, and we’re confident that the teams and the fans will enjoy the wonderful hospitality for which Nashville is famous. We’re looking forward to an exciting schedule of Bowl Week special events and activities, capped by a great game on the field.”
North Carolina posted a 7-5 record in 2010 and finished tied for third in the ACC Coastal Division. The Tar Heels were 4-4 in ACC play and are making their 28th bowl appearance and third consecutive, including their first in the Music City Bowl.
For tickets, please visit www.ticketmaster.com/musiccitybowl. For more information on the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, visit MusicCityBowl.com.
(E-mail Stan Crawley at firstname.lastname@example.org)