Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State Athletics Department announced Sunday that the Red Wolves have accepted an official invitation to play in the 2017 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. (CT) in an ESPN-televised contest against Conference USA member Middle Tennessee.
The A-State football team is set to make its seventh consecutive and 15th all-time bowl-game appearance, although they will compete in the Camellia Bowl at the historic Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., for the first time.
"We're excited to have received and accepted an invitation to play in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl," said A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. "This is another opportunity for our team to play in prime time in front of a national television audience on ESPN, while also giving our fans a chance to travel to an outstanding bowl game to show the country how A-State nation supports our program."
Arkansas State most recently played in the 2016 Cure Bowl, defeating UCF 31-13 in that contest. The Red Wolves played in the 2015 New Orleans Bowl the year prior, which followed four consecutive trips to the GoDaddy Bowl, now known as the Dollar General Bowl.
The Red Wolves completed the 2017 regular season with a 7-4 overall record and 6-2 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. A-State, Sun Belt champions five of the last seven seasons, has secured a school-record seventh consecutive winning season. Arkansas State has piled up 59 victories from 2011-17 for its most over a seven-year span in the program's 103-year history.
"We are excited to play in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl and give our team another great bowl experience," said A-State head coach Blake Anderson. "We are looking forward to competing for our eighth win, the opportunity to gain some momentum going into next season and celebrating our senior class."
Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee will meet for the first time since playing as Sun Belt Conference opponents from 2001-13. While the Red Wolves have won the last three meetings, they hold a 5-9 all-time record against the Blue Raiders in the series that dates back to 1948. Middle Tennessee finished the 2017 regular season with a 6-6 overall record and 4-4 mark against Conference USA opponents.
Arkansas State fans are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets to the Camellia Bowl through the A-State Ticket Office to directly support the Red Wolves' bowl trip and to ensure they receive priority seating within the designated A-State area.