Troy to face Central Michigan in GMAC Bowl

The four-time Sun Belt Conference Champion Troy University Trojans accepted an invitation today to play in the 2010 GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Director of Athletics Steve Dennis announced.

The Trojans will square off with the Chippewas of Central Michigan University on Wednesday night, January 6, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in a game that will be televised nationally by ESPN and will kickoff at 6 p.m.

"We are all excited about this opportunity to play in the GMAC Bowl against a great opponent like Central Michigan," Dennis said. "On behalf of our Chancellor, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., I would like to express my gratitude to President Jerry Silverstein and Executive Director Frank Moderelli, as well as the entire board of the GMAC Bowl, for the opportunity to showcase our program, our university and our conference in the 11th GMAC Bowl."

In its 10 seasons, the GMAC Bowl has produced some of the most exciting games among all bowl games on a regular basis. The most dramatic of those games was played in 2001 when Marshall rallied from a 38-8 halftime deficit to defeat East Carolina 64-61 in double overtime.

"The GMAC Bowl has built a reputation of bringing exciting, high-scoring football to Mobile every year, and this year is no different," Silverstein said. "We are loolomg forward to the match up of two conference champions, Central Michigan and Troy University, playing in Mobile on January 6th."

This will be the first appearance in the GMAC Bowl for both Troy and Central Michigan. Overall, Mid-American Conference teams have a 5-3 record in the game, but MAC teams have lost each of their last three GMAC Bowl appearances.

The Trojans played in the 2004 Silicon Valley Football Classic in San Jose, Calif., and in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in 2006 and 2008.

"Our fans should all get excited about the Trojans playing in Mobile in the GMAC Bowl," Trojans head coach Larry Blakeney said. "We are playing in our home state and should treat this almost like it is a home game. I want to challenge our fans to pack the place and show the entire nation what Trojan football is all about."

The matchup against Central Michigan will be the only bowl game outside of the BCS that will pit two conference champions against each other. The Chippewas, under third year head coach Butch Jones, captured the Mid-American Conference title for the third time in four years with a victory over Ohio University in the MAC Championship game.

The Chippewas (11-2) are ranked 25th in the latest Associated Press Top 25, marking the first time CMU has been nationally-ranked in its 35 seasons of play in Division I (FBS).

CMU features senior quarterback Dan LeFevour, who broke the NCAA record for career touchdowns during the game with Ohio. Over the course of his career, LeFevour has accounted for 148 touchdowns (101 passing and 46 rushing).

For Troy, the trip to the GMAC Bowl will mark the fourth bowl trip in the last six years. The Trojans will be the first team from the state of Alabama to ever play in a bowl game inside the state.

The appearance for the Trojans will not, however, be the first in Mobile. During head coach Larry Blakeney's 19 seasons in Troy, the Trojans have twice played non-conference games at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Troy defeated Alcorn State 30-0 to open the 1997 season and downed Florida A&M University 24-7 in November of 2002.

"I can't express how proud I am of Coach Blakeney, his coaching staff, these seniors and the entire team for the class and determination they have displayed all season in going undefeated in the Sun Belt Conference and earning this trip to the GMAC Bowl," Dennis said. "I hope that all Troy fans understand what it took to get to this game and will come support our team on January 6."

Tickets for the 2010 GMAC Bowl are available online at 24 hours a day. Fans can also call the Troy Athletics Ticket Office at 877-878-9467 to order tickets. The ticket office will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday leading up to the game.

The first 1,000 orders for bowl tickets received will also receive a commemorative "100-year" print suitable for framing. Fans purchasing tickets from Troy will also receive a complimentary admission to the Alumni Tailgate on game day in Mobile.

Tickets for the game purchased through the Troy University Athletics Ticket Office are $40 each. Troy University students with a valid student ID can purchase tickets through the ticket office for $15 each.

Student tickets will also be available from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week at the Adams Student Center on campus. Students who purchase tickets at the Student Center will have an opportunity to have their photo made with Football Santa or his Elves.