By GARY FAUBER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The Conference USA championship game didn’t turn out so well for Marshall, but the day wasn’t all bad.
Soon after its 41-24 loss to Rice in Houston, Marshall accepted a bid to play in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md. The game will be played Friday, Dec. 27, with a kickoff of 2:30 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and be televised nationally on ESPN.
The game will be played in Annapolis, but most festivities will take place in Washington, D.C.
Rice accepted the Liberty Bowl berth that customarily goes to the C-USA champion.
Marshall’s opponent will be a member of the ACC, but had not been announced as of late Saturday night. That spot was contingent upon the result of Saturday’s ACC title game between No. 1 Florida State and Duke, although Maryland has largely been speculated as the opponent.
An official announcement from the bowl will be made later tonight.
The Herd lost to Virginia Tech 29-21 in triple overtime on Sept. 21. The Hokies would likely not be the Herd’s opponent, as bowls tend to shy away from rematches. Tech is likely to end up in the Sun Bowl.
It will be the second bowl appearance for Marshall in the Doc Holliday era, following a 20-10 win over Florida International in the 2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Marshall is 7-3 all-time in bowl games. All seven of those victories have come in the team’s last nine trips dating back to the 1997 Motor City Bowl loss to Ole Miss.
Marshall has developed a reputation for bringing a big contingent of fans to bowl games.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have the Thundering Herd travel to the National Capital Region,” Military Bowl President & Executive Director Steve Beck said in a statement. “As evidenced on the field this season, Marshall has a terrific team and we are sure their fans will enjoy our hospitality.”
The Thundering Herd (9-4) has 10 players from the Washington, D.C., area, including leading rusher Essray Taliaferro, who played at Briarwoods High in the nation’s capital.
Information regarding ticket sales for the Military Bowl will be available on HerdZone.com. Tickets will be lower-level tickets and will be $77 apiece.