Louisville headed to Belk Bowl

Big East champion Louisville will face NC State December 27 in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.

Big East champion Louisville will play NC State in the Belk Bowl, formerly Meineke CarCare, in Charlotte, NC.

When: Dec. 27
Time: 8:00
Where: Charlotte, NC
TV: ESPN

"We are very excited for the opportunity to bring our football team and fans to the Belk Bowl," University Vice President/Athletic Director, Tom Jurich, said. "Charlotte is a wonderful city, and we are playing in an NFL stadium against a high-quality opponent in NC State. Charlotte is close in proximity for our fans and could be an easy drive after the Christmas holiday. This game is a reward for a great coaching job by Charlie (Strong) and the staff, and a great reward for our team, which exceeded everyone's expectations and won the BIG EAST title. It's also a great reward for our fans to travel to a great destination to see two very good teams face off against one another."

"We are thrilled to accept an invitation to the Belk Bowl," head coach Charlie Strong reiterated. "Charlotte is a great city, and I'm so excited to take this team to another great bowl game. I'm so proud of our football team and coaching staff to be 2-4 earlier this season and end the year by winning five of the last six games and become BIG EAST champions. We have fought through a lot of adversity this year and to end the year with a high-quality bowl game versus a tough opponent like NC State is a great way to end the year."

Louisville finished the regular season 7-5, earning a share of the Big East title with West Virginia and Cincinnati. The Cardinals, led by freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and one of the nation's best defenses, won five of their final six games.

NC State also finished the season 7-5, 5-3 ACC, and beat Clemson and Maryland to become bowl eligible. Led by quarterback Mike Glennon, the Wolfpack won three of their final four games and scored 35 or more points six times, including 56 in the finale against Maryland, coming back from a 27 point deficit to win.

Louisville and NC State shared two common opponents this season -- Cincinnati and North Carolina. Both teams lost to the Bearcats (UofL 25-16, NCSU 44-14). Louisville lost to the Tarheels 14-7; NCSU beat UNC 13-0.

"We are very pleased to announce the University of Louisville and North Carolina State University will be playing in the 2011 Belk Bowl," said Will Webb, Executive Director. "Louisville has played very well this season. Every game has been very competitive, with no loss by more than nine points. And NC State has shown great resiliency, winning three of their last four games to become bowl eligible, including a win over the ACC Champions Clemson."

"We feel that the Cardinals and Wolfpack are very strong teams that should be a tremendous matchup in Charlotte. We look forward to hosting both Louisville and NC State, and all of their fans for the 2011 Belk Bowl and all the surrounding events."

The Cardinals and Wolfpack will be meeting for the fourth time in series history, with Louisville holding a 3-0 advantage. Louisville defeated the NC State, 27-10, in the last meeting (2007) at Carter Finley Stadium. Previously, the Cardinals defeated the Wolfpack, 35-14, in 1994 and 26-2 in 1951.

Louisville is making its 16th postseason trip and second straight under Strong, who is 13-11 in his first two seasons at the helm of the program. Louisville defeated Southern Miss, 31-28, in the Beef ‘O' Brady's Bowl a year ago.

The 2011 Belk Bowl will be played at Bank of America Stadium. Founded in 2002, the payout for each team is $1.7 million, and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Tickets for the Belk Bowl are on sale now and only available through Ticketmaster and the participating schools. Upper Level Seats begin at just $40. To purchase individual tickets, please visit any Ticketmaster outlet in the southeast or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To order from Ticketmaster by phone, call 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Carolina Panthers Box Office, located at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

For more information about the Belk Bowl, visit Belk Bowl Official Website


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