Sunday, December 06, 2015

Navy to Face Pitt in Military Bowl

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, benefiting the USO, today announced that the University of Pittsburgh has accepted an invitation to play in this year’s game. Kickoff is set for 2:30 PM on Monday, December 28 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Panthers (8-4) will play 21st-ranked Navy (9-2). Both teams finished second in their respective conference divisions, Pittsburgh in the ACC Coastal and Navy in the American’s West Division.

“What an incredible matchup for our game,” Military Bowl President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “We feel fortunate to have a team the caliber of Pittsburgh face off against Navy, which is in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in school history. The Panthers play an exciting brand of football and we are sure there will be a buzz in Annapolis on gameday.”

“Exposure to the great city of Washington with all of its historic attractions will be a wonderful experience for our Midshipmen,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk.  “Then with the main event on our home turf against a successful Pitt team from the ACC completes what I call the total post season package. Thanks to Steve Beck and his staff, it is easy to rate the Military Bowl as a highlight of the season for Navy Football.”
“Our players are excited about the opportunity to play one last game in what is hallowed ground at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo.  “Having the opportunity to represent the American Athletic Conference against a team from a Power Five conference like Pitt makes it that more exciting.  The 32 seniors that will be playing their last football game for Navy deserve to play in front of a full house at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium one final time.”

Pittsburgh leads the all-time series between the teams, 22-14-3. The teams last met in 2013, when Navy scored a 24-21 victory in Annapolis.

Under first-year coach Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh is enjoying its best season in six years while playing a schedule that included eight teams that will play in bowl games. The Panthers went 6-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and featured both the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year in running back Qadree Ollison and strong safety Jordan Whitehead. Whitehead became the first defensive player to be named the ACC overall Rookie of the Year since Dre Bly of North Carolina in 1996.

The Panthers will be playing in a bowl game for the eighth consecutive season. This will be their first Military Bowl appearance.

Navy, which concludes its regular history on Saturday with its annual game against Army, is in the midst of a historic season. Led by record-setting quarterback Keenan Reynolds, the Midshipmen can tie the school single-season record for victories by beating Army and would set a new mark by winning that game along with a bowl victory. Reynolds has set a new NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision all-time record with 83 rushing touchdowns and also has tied the FBS all-time record with 83 total touchdowns.

The Midshipmen have spent the past five weeks in the national rankings, the longest stretch they have spent in the rankings since 1963

This will be Navy’s 12th bowl appearance in the past 13 years, including a 29-19 loss to Wake Forest in 2008 in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl, which was the predecessor to the Military Bowl. The Midshipmen have won their past two bowl games.

Navy fans can purchase tickets to attend the Military Bowl or donate tickets at: or by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY.  Ticket prices are $80 for the lower level and $55 for the upper level.   Donated tickets are $55 and will be given to either midshipmen or enlisted personnel in the area. Fans are reminded that although the game will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, it is not a Navy administered contest and some traditional accommodations will not be available for this contest.  All of Navy’s tickets will be on the blue or press box side of the stadium.

On game day, festivities begin with the Official Tailgate at 9 a.m. and the Military Bowl Parade at 11 a.m., traveling from City Dock to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

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