Heels defeat SMU, accept Peach Bowl

With the 19-10 win over SMU, Carolina is Peach Bowl-bound.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today extended an invitation to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to become the ACC's representative in the Bowl's 34th annual game Dec. 31. The invitation was formally accepted by UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour creating a match-up with a representative from the Southeastern Conference.

"This is an outstanding selection for us," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl president. "Carolina has all the elements we're looking for to create another great bowl game. They finished strong, winning seven of their last nine games. They've got an exciting offense that'll put up a lot of points and a defense led by Julius Peppers and Ryan Sims. And they always bring a great crowd to Atlanta."

The selection was made in an on-field ceremony following the Tar Heels' win over SMU in the team's final regular season game. The Tar Heels finished with a record of 7-5 (5-3 in the ACC) after playing one of the strongest schedules in Division I football.

"Our guys really deserve this. It's been a long road, but we're there," said John Bunting, UNC head coach. "These guys battled it out. They fought through one of the nation's toughest schedules and earned the right to play in a great bowl game. We've learned a lot about ourselves. Personally, it will be great to go back to the Peach Bowl after playing in that game 31 years ago as a player at North Carolina."

UNC is making its fifth trip to the Peach Bowl (1993, 1983, 1976, 1970). The most recent appearance was a 21-17 victory over Mississippi State following the 1992 season -- the first Peach Bowl played in the Georgia Dome.

"We know the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl had a tough selection to make and we're proud they had so much confidence in us," Baddour said. "It's a great opportunity for Carolina football and I'm excited for our players, coaches and fans. We've had great experiences at previous Peach Bowls and our fans are excited about going to Atlanta."

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is the only guaranteed ACC vs. SEC match-up and is recognized as the most competitive bowl game in history with an average margin of victory of 8.8 points. The 2001 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will be played 7:30 p.m., Dec. 31 in the Georgia Dome and will be nationally televised on ESPN.

Ticket Information
The UNC Ticket Office will begin accepting orders from all Carolina fans for the 2001 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Monday, Dec. 3 at 8 a.m. Orders may be placed by phone at 800-722-HEEL (4335), or you may mail UNC's Bowl Game Order Form (PDF File) ASAP to:

    UNC Ticket Office
    PO Box 3000
    Chapel Hill, NC 27515
When ordering please identify yourself as an Educational Foundation Member or a UNC Student if applicable.

Official UNC travel packages for the 2001 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl are available by calling Navigant Travel at 1-800-849-1149. The UNC team hotel, Educational Foundation, and General Alumni Association headquarters hotel will be the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Rooms will also be available at the Courtyard Marriott (Perimeter).

The official UNC Fan Center will be housed in the Marriott Marquis. It will be open December 29 -December 31. There will be free UNC giveaways, door prizes drawings, registration for pre-game bowl party, information on things to do in Atlanta, and discount coupons for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl FanFest at the Georgia World Congress Center on December 31 from 2:30 to 6:30.

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