Formal Invitation

Members of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl committee held a press conference Wednesday at the University of Miami for a formal invitation to the bowl game on December 31 at 7:30 p.m. The Miami Hurricanes (8-3) will face the Florida Gators (7-4) at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

"We are truly honored and privileged to have Miami represented in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl," said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl President Gary Stokan.

Both teams will receive $2.3 million for participating in the game. The $4.6 total payout is the eighth highest payout amongst the bowl games this year. It is also the highest attended game after the four BCS bowl games averaging 72,442 fans per game. Last year the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl set the all-time attendance record for a sporting even in the Georgia Dome with 75,125 fans in attendance for the Clemson/Tennessee match up.

"We are happy to be going back to the Peach Bowl," Miami athletic director Paul Dee said. "We faced Virginia Tech in 1981 and beat them 20-10. We are extremely pleased with the bowl game in our first season in the ACC. We are also excited about facing a quality opponent, Florida, from the SEC."

Senior quarterback Brock Berlin who has passed for 2,509 yards, 21 touchdowns, and five interceptions leads the Miami Hurricanes. Senior cornerback Antrel Rolle, who is a Thorpe Award Finalist and was named 1st Team All-ACC, leads the Miami defense.

"This is a great opportunity for our football team," Miami head coach Larry Coker said. "We are going to have a great time in Atlanta. We wanted to play the best team available and we got that."

Sophomore quarterback Chris Leak who has passed for 2,935 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions leads the Florida Gators. Ciatrick Fason leads the SEC in rushing averaging 106 yards per game and has 1,173 yards on the season.

The in-state rivals last played against each other September 6, 2003 in Miami. The Hurricanes overcame a 23-point deficit in the second half to defeat the Gators 38-33.

"This is the most unique matchups we have ever had," said Leeman Bennett, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl chairman. "The winner of this game will have a leg up on recruiting and preseason rankings for next season. We saw this year with Auburn the importance of preseason rankings."

Both universities were given 16,000-17,000 tickets for their fans. According to the Peach Bowl committee Florida has sold nearly 11,000 of their tickets allotment. There are about 1,000 tickets available through the Peach Bowl office.

Chick-fil-A has been a title partner of the Peach Bowl since 1997. There are nearly 1,200 Chick-fil-A stores around the country in 38 states.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com.

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