WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Military Bowl announced Sunday that the University of Maryland has officially accepted its invitation to represent the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman benefiting the USO. Maryland will face Conference USA representative East Carolina University (ECU) on December 29 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. ET.
“We couldn’t be happier with the Maryland-East Carolina match-up for the 2010 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman,” said Steve Beck, Executive Director of the Military Bowl. “For the thousands of Terrapins fans in the region, this will be a great opportunity to support their team in a bowl game in their own backyard. Early indications are that Pirate fans will be here in significant numbers as well. What better way to introduce our new partners – Northrop Grumman and the USO – to D.C.’s bowl game than to have a highly competitive game with a tremendous crowd at RFK Stadium.”
Ralph Friedgen’s Terrapins finished the season one game shy of the ACC Championship game with an 8-4 record (5-3 ACC) after rallying to upset then-No. 23 North Carolina State 38-31 in their final game of the regular season. Friedgen, who was named 2010 ACC Coach of the Year, has led Maryland to seven bowl game appearances since being named head coach in 2001.
“We are looking forward to playing in another bowl game,” said Friedgen. “Our kids have worked really hard this season and it’s a tribute to them that we’ve reached the postseason again. We hope to represent the ACC well in the Military Bowl.”
East Carolina (6-6, 5-3 C-USA) will be making a school-record fifth consecutive bowl appearance and its seventh since 2000. First-year head coach Ruffin McNeill has transformed the Pirates into one of the nation’s top offensive teams, averaging 38.2 points per game.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Maryland, a tradition-rich program out of a conference which has our highest respect,” first-year ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill said. “Coach Friedgen’s record and accomplishments speak for themselves, and because of that, I know we’ll be facing a quality, disciplined and very well-coached opponent. We are excited to have another opportunity to accomplish something special for this senior class, especially against a team the caliber of Maryland.”
The game pits one of the nation’s best offensive teams against one of the nation’s top defensive teams. ECU’s high-scoring offense is propelled by its air attack, which averages 319.3 yards passing per game (7th in the nation). The Pirates are led by junior quarterback Dominique Davis, who has thrown for 3,699 yards and 36 touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Dwayne Harris, who has 1,055 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. ECU has upset one ACC team already this season, handing North Carolina State a 33-27 overtime defeat in October.
Maryland counters with a stout defense that ranked 38th in the nation in points allowed at 22.3 per game. Redshirt freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien leads the offense with 2,257 yards passing and 21 touchdowns, including a dominating performance in his last game versus North Carolina State (33-47, 417 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions).
Tickets are priced at $25, $55 and $90 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-555-SEAT. Tickets for the popular “Military Bowl Official Tailgate Party” at the DC Armory can be purchased
for $20 with game tickets. Any unsold tickets to the Tailgate Party will be made available to the public on an individual basis beginning December 15. In addition, ticket packages that include a family four-pack, featuring four $25 tickets and a game program are available for $80, and there are group discounts for 10 or more.
The Military Bowl was launched in 2008 as the EagleBank Bowl and was recently re-branded with new title sponsor Northrop Grumman with the USO as charitable partner. Northrop Grumman, which announced earlier this year its plan to relocate its corporate offices from Los Angeles to Falls Church, Va. is a global security company specializing in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities and is most widely known for supporting the troops in the field during times of conflict.