Middle Tennessee State to Meet Navy in BHAFB

Following Saturday’s conference championship games and the final selection of teams for the 35 college football bowl games, the U.S. Naval Academy now knows that Middle Tennessee State University will be its opponent in this month’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. The Midshipmen will meet the Blue Raiders in the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to be played in Fort Worth, on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013.

The 11th edition of this postseason college football bowl game, which is more than a bowl game with its military theme and involvement, will kick off at 10:45 a.m. (CST) from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU. The game will air on ESPN, ESPN Radio and will be carried worldwide on the Armed Forces Network.

By defeating UTEP, 48-17 on Nov. 30 at home in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Blue Raiders, led by Head Coach Rick Stockstill, finished the regular season with an 8-4 overall record in Conference USA.

“It is a distinct honor and privilege to have both the U.S. Naval Academy and Middle Tennessee in this year’s salute to the military of our country. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the City of Fort Worth are very excited to host both of these teams, their alumni as well as their fans,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the patriotic bowl. “I can assure you this game will add significantly to the legacy of this great event. The game itself will be the centerpiece to a memorable week of colorful festivities in the heart of Texas.”

Navy, coached by Ken Niumatalolo, has a 7-4 record so far this season playing with poised passion and dedicated determination and has some unfinished regular-season business as they continue to prepare for Saturday’s annual rivalry showdown with the U.S. Military Academy (Army) in Philadelphia. Navy, which is on a three-game winning streak, became bowl-eligible on Nov. 16 when it defeated South Alabama, 42-14, at home in Annapolis, Md, allowing the Midshipmen to honor their commitment to play in Fort Worth.

While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is played in honor of the armed forces and has previously hosted the U.S. Military Academy (2010) and the U.S. Air Force Academy (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012), this is the first year that the bowl is hosting the Naval Academy. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is the only bowl game that has hosted all three U.S. Military Academies.

The Blue Raiders head to Fort Worth 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..

COACHES’ LOGS

Navy’s Niumatalolo is in his sixth season at the helm of the Midshipmen and 16th overall with Navy football. During his first five-plus years as head coach at Navy, Niumatalolo’s Mids have compiled a record of 47-30 (.610) including appearances in four post-season bowl games plus this year’s BHAFB. He moved into third all-time in Navy career coaching wins this season. Niumatalolo has also been selected one of seven men in the inaugural class of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. He will be inducted Jan. 23, 2014 prior to the NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu

Middle Tennessee’s Stockstill is in his eighth season leading the Blue Raiders. His overall record at Middle Tennessee is 51-48 and this is the fourth bowl game he has led his school to during his tenure.  A veteran coach, Stockstill has been part of the coaching staffs at Bethune-Cookman, Central Florida, Clemson, East Carolina and South Carolina before becoming head coach at Middle Tennessee in 2006. Stockstill has also been selected twice as the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

For more info on Middle Tennessee football, visit www.GoBlueRaiders.com.

MIDS vs. BLACK KNIGHTS

The long-time rivalry between Navy and Army is as arguably the No. 1 rivalry in all of college football. This year’s patriotic classic will be played Saturday when the Mids and the Black Knights meet on the gridiron field of battle for the 114th time. Navy holds the all-time series edge, 57-49-7, including last year’s 17-13 win over Army in Philadelphia. Both noted triple-option teams, Army leads the nation in rushing averaging 323.6 yards per game while Navy is currently third nationally with a 320.1 average.

With the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy on the line, the Navy vs. Army matchup is scheduled to kickoff Saturday at 3 p.m. (ET) on the FieldTurf of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Television Network and broadcast on the Navy Radio Network.

Navy has been the most dominant service academy in the last decade plus in the battle for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, winning 20 of 22 (.909) meetings with Air Force and Army, including this year’s 28-10 win over Air Force.

For more Navy football info, visit www.navysports.com.

ROAD TO FORT WORTH

NAVY:

Record: 7-4 • Home: 5-0 • Away: 2-4 • Neutral: 0-0

Date Opponent Result/Time Television Attendance Series History

W No. 1 9-7 at Indiana W, 41-35 Big Ten Network 47,013 Series tied, 2-2

W No. 2 9-14 Delaware W, 51-7 CBS Sports Network 36,208 Navy Leads, 10-7

L 9-28 at Western Kentucky L, 7-19 ESPNEWS 19,813 Navy Leads, 2-1

W No. 3 10-5 Air Force W, 28-10 CBS Network 38,225 Air Force Leads, 27-19

L 10-12 at Duke L, 7-35 Raycom Sports/ACC Network 23,749 Navy Leads, 20-15-5

L 44-45 (2 OT) 10-19 at Toledo ESPNEWS 18,221 Toledo Leads, 3-1

W No. 4 10-26 Pittsburgh W, 24-21 CBS Sports Network 37,094 Pittsburgh Leads 22-14-3

L 11-2 at Notre Dame L, 34-38 NBC 80,795 Notre Dame Leads, 74-12-1

W No. 5 11-9 Hawai’i W, 42-28 CBS Sports Network 33,327 Hawai’i Leads, 2-1

W No. 6 11-16 South Alabama W, 42-14 CBS Sports Network 33,086 Navy Leads 1-0

W No. 7 11-22 at San Jose State W, 58-52, CBS Sports Network 16,876 San Jose State Leads, 2-1

12-14 Army+ 3 p.m. CBS Navy Leads, 57-49-7

+Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, Pa.)   All Times Eastern

Middle Tennessee:

Overall Record: 8-4 • Conference Record: 6-2 • Home: 5-1 • Away: 3-3 • Neutral: 0-0

Date Opponent Result Television Attendance

8-29 Western Carolina W, 45-24 None, 20,011

9-7 at North Carolina L, 20-40, ACC Network, 48,000

9-14 Memphis W, 17-15, CSS        , 23,992

9-21 at FAU* W, 42-35 (ot), CSS, 13,911

9-27 at BYU L, 10-37, ESPNU 58,763

10-5 East Carolina* L, 17-24,      FSN 20,109

10-12 at North Texas* L, 7-34, None 21,171

10-24 Marshall* W, 51-49, FS1 19,898

11-2 at UAB* W, 24-21, FCS 20,483

11-9 FIU* W, 48-0, FCS 16,717

11-23 at Southern Miss* W , 42-21, CSS 22,134

11-30 UTEP* W, 48-17, MyTV 30 11,560

*Conference USA Game

IT’S A DATE

This will mark the third time in its 11-year history that the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be held on December 30, as the 2010 and 2011 contests were both held on that date. The most recent Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl was played Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 featuring a match-up between the Rice Owls and U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons, in which the Owls claimed the bowl victory 33-14. Last year’s showcase drew an attendance of 40,754.

TICKET TIME

Tickets for the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are now on sale through ArmedForcesBowl.com. Armed forces veterans and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the bowl’s corporate armed forces ticket underwriting program, while supplies are available.

ARMED FORCES SALUTE

Owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance; and the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.

For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.