NEWS RELEASE: West Virginia and Miami Selected to Play in 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 16 West Virginia Mountaineers (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) and the Miami Hurricanes (8-4, 5-3 ACC) will play in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl. Florida Citrus Sports’ Chairman Harold Mills and CEO Steve Hogan announced the matchup today on behalf of the organization’s Team Selection Committee. The game will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28 at Camping World Stadium and will be televised nationally by ESPN.
This year’s Russell Athletic Bowl will see Miami and West Virginia meet for the first time since both were members of the Big East Conference in 2003 and the 20th time overall.
West Virginia finished the season with 10 wins, its highest regular season total since the Mountaineers tied a school-record with 11 regular season wins in 1993. A win in this game would match the Mountaineers record for single-season wins. West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard leads an attack that ranks 12th nationally in total offense, while the Mountaineers’ defense has held opponents to 21 points or less in nine of their 12 games.
Miami heads into bowl season on a four-game win streak. The Hurricanes’ eight wins in coach Mark Richt’s inaugural season in Coral Gables are the most under a first-year head coach since Larry Coker went 12-0 in 2001 in his first season at the helm. The Canes are led by junior quarterback Brad Kaaya, who broke Ken Dorsey’s program record for career passing yards in the regular season finale against Duke.
Miami will be making its fifth appearance in the bowl – tying NC State for most all-time – but only its third since the game moved to Orlando. The Hurricanes hold a 2-2 record in the bowl all-time. Their last appearance in the bowl came in 2013 when they were topped by a Teddy Bridgewater-led Louisville team, 36-9.
The Mountaineers only prior appearance in Orlando came by way of a 23-7 loss to Russell Wilson and NC State in 2010.
Tickets for the Russell Athletic Bowl are available via Ticketmaster: http://orl.do/16RABtix. Groups of 10 or more may call the Florida Citrus Sports offices at 407.423.2476.