Louisville, led by highly acclaimed first-year head coach Charlie Strong, has accepted the BIG EAST bid into the 2010 Beef ‘O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg, where the Cardinals will face Southern Mississippi. The game will be played at Tropicana Field Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, the Beef ‘O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg is in its third year.
"The Louisville and Southern Miss matchup is a big win for college football fans," said Executive Director Brett Dulaney. "These are two programs that have always played an exciting brand of football and the matchup features a defensive-minded Louisville head coach against a Southern Miss coach, who has his team scoring nearly 40-points a game."
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong said, "I'm very proud of this football team, but I'm especially happy for our senior class to get to a bowl game and have the opportunity to play one more game. Our team has worked hard and dedicated themselves to earn a bowl game, and I'm so happy for them. We are pleased to represent the BIG EAST Conference against Southern Miss in this outstanding bowl are looking forward to this outstanding opportunity."
Tom Jurich, Louisville Vice President and Athletics Director Tom Jurich, added, "We are thrilled to be traveling to the Beef O'Brady's Bowl. It's a great accomplishment to reach a bowl game in Charlie's first year here. He and our team have worked hard and done a terrific job getting us to this stage. I know our fans will be excited to follow this team to St. Petersburg. It's in the heart of a strong recruiting base for us and we have a very active alumni group in that area. Southern Mississippi has an excellent team and is an institution in which we have great respect. We have many friends there from the competition we've had over the years."
In just his first season at Louisville, Strong has the Cardinals in their first bowl game since an Orange Bowl appearance following the 2006 season. ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde has already tabbed Strong the BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
The coaching matchup between Strong and Larry Fedora of Southern Miss provides an additional storyline in that Strong is a former defensive coordinator for the University of Florida, while Fedora was once the offensive coordinator for the Gators, although they were not in Gainesville at the same time.
Tickets for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg are on sale through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone (1-800-745-3000) for just $40.00. Enjoy the pregame pageantry in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Bud Light Lounge, the only on-field hospitality village in all of professional or college football. For just $175, fans can sit right behind the team bench and hear all of the hard- hitting action. It will be the only Beef 'O' Brady's location where you can literally be in the huddle and still enjoy all that food and beverage any fan would want. For tickets in the Bud Light Lounge, fans can contact Carlos Padilla at 727-290-9865 for information.
In last season's Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg, Rutgers, of the BIG EAST, defeated UCF, of Conference USA, 45-24 in front of a crowd of 28,000. In the inaugural game in 2008, USF, representing the BIG EAST, defeated C-USA representative Memphis 41-14 at Tropicana Field.
Ticket InformationLOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Ticket orders for the University of Louisville's appearance in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg against Southern Mississippi to be played Dec. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. will be accepted immediately. The game will be played at Tropicana Field at 8 p.m. ET.
U of L football season ticket holders will be emailed an order form for tickets, priced at $30 each. Season ticket holders should use the form to purchase tickets to assure they receive the best possible seats. To ensure priority consideration, applications and appropriate payment must be received by Dec. 10. Forms should be faxed to the ticket office at (502) 852-0968. Ticket forms may also be dropped off at one of the U of L ticket offices or at the KFC Yum! Center ticket windows at a U of L basketball game.
Ticket orders will also be accepted from the general public by telephone with a VISA or MasterCard by calling the U of L ticket office at (502) 852-5151 or 852-5863; or by completing the online form at www.UofLsports.com. The U of L ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Tickets will be available to be picked up at the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium location near Gate 2 of the stadium (South Floyd St.) on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. until noon. Tickets will not be mailed.
Additional information on the Cardinals' participation in and events surrounding the Beef O'Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg will be provided on the Cardinals' web site at www.UofLsports.com as it becomes available.