Today, New Orleans Bowl officials extended invitations to Middle Tennessee State University (9-3) and the University of Southern Mississippi (7-5) to compete in the 2009 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The matchup, Sunday Dec. 20th, will mark the first time the two teams will meet in school history.
Middle Tennessee will look to extend their current six game winning streak in their first appearance in the New Orleans Bowl, and only their 2nd bowl invitation in school history. In 2006, first year Head Coach Rick Stockstill took the Blue Raiders to Detroit for their first bowl game appearance in 100 years, but 3 seasons later the MTSU fans have the Big Easy as a destination. “"We are thrilled to extend our season in New Orleans and appreciate the invitation by the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl," said Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. "It is a great bowl for our players and fans and we can't wait to get there. We are proud to be one of just two schools in the state of Tennessee going to a bowl game and we will represent the state well.”
The USM Golden Eagles are no strangers to post season play, accepting 11 bowl invitations over the past 12 years. Head Coach Larry Fedora will make his second straight post season trip to the Big Easy in 2009, and the Golden Eagles fourth overall appearance in the New Orleans Bowl, where they remain undefeated. “We are extremely excited about going back to New Orleans. Last year, the bowl did a great job of taking care of our football team. Our guys had a great time while we were down there and our fans did a great job of coming to the game. We know that we will have another great crowd this year.”
Executive Director of the New Orleans Bowl, Billy Ferrante, spent the past week working with both Conference USA and the Sun Belt Conference to deliver invitations that guaranteed the most attractive matchup possible. “Working through the Conferences, we closely examine what matchups will deliver us the best regional game for fan attendance, television ratings, quality of competition, and bowl atmosphere. The MTSU vs. USM match up should deliver all that, and more.”
Off the field, Chairman Paul Valteau guarantees that New Orleans will deliver a bowl experience that can only happen in New Orleans. “Its been said over and over that unless your team is competing in the National Championship game, there is no destination better than New Orleans to travel to for a bowl. From our special events, to the food, music, and culture, to everything the French Quarter has to offer, the Middle Tennessee fans are in for a real treat. Just ask the Southern Miss fans, who have become like family, and know they are welcome back to New Orleans anytime.”
The 2009 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will kickoff at 7:30 pm CST in the Louisiana Superdome. The game will be broadcast live nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio. Fans of each team are encouraged to purchase tickets through their school athletic departments. Tickets outside the team seating sections are available online at Ticketmaster.com
For information online, please visit www.NewOrleansBowl.com, www.GoBlueRaiders.com, or www.SouthernMiss.com