RELEASE: NC State Accepts Belk Bowl Bid

RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State has accepted a bid to play Big East Co-Champion Louisville in the 2011 Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on December 27. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.

"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 of the Belk Bowl. "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 Wolfpack (7-5 overall, 4-4 ACC) is riding great momentum heading into the bowl contest, having won five of its last seven contests. State closed out the season with a 37-13 win over No. 7 Clemson, then scored 42 unanswered points to defeat Maryland, 56-41, in the regular season finale.

"Charlotte always rolls out their Southern hospitality to visitors," said State Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow. "We have a first-class competition venue for the game and easy travel to the city for thousands of Wolfpackers living within a four hour drive. That is a terrific combination."

This will mark the Pack's third bowl appearance in Tom O'Brien's five-year tenure as head coach and its 26th all-time postseason appearance (13-11-1). In his 15 years as a head coach, O'Brien has coached 11 teams that have earned postseason bowl bids.

"Our team is thrilled about the opportunity to play in the Belk Bowl," said O'Brien. "This is a great reward for their tenacity and refusal to give up this season. It's also a great reward for our fans, who always play a major role in our success. With a quality opponent like Louisville, it should be an exciting game."

O'Brien's last seven teams at Boston College won bowl games, an NCAA-best at that time for consecutive bowl wins. In his second season in Raleigh, he led the Pack to an appearance in the Bowl, where it lost to Rutgers, 29-23. Last season, State defeated No. 22 West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl.

The Cardinals also post a 7-5 overall record and were 5-2 in the Big East this season, earning a share of the league's regular season title. Charlie Strong's squad also won its last two games, with road victories at UConn and South Florida.

This will mark the fourth meeting between NC State and Louisville, with the Cardinals winning the three previous contests, 26-2 at Louisville in 1951, 35-14 at Louisville in 1994 and 29-10 in Raleigh in 2007 – O'Brien's first year with the Pack.

Wolfpack Club members and NC State fans can reserve tickets now. The priority deadline for Wolfpack Club members is Friday, Dec. 9.

Tickets prices range from $40-95 and can be purchased on-line at the Ticket Center or by phone through the NC State Ticket Office at (919) 865-1510.

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