Tigers to face South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl (updated)

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Charlotte, N.C. – The Clemson TIgers, representing the Atlantic Coast Conference, will face the South Florida Bulls from the Big East Conference in the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl, it was announced today by bowl officials. Clemson will be making their first appearance in the game, while South Florida returns for the second time, and first since 2005.

College football’s first bowl game to call the Carolinas home, the Meineke Car Care Bowl will take place on Friday, December 31st at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.

“We are tremendously excited to have Clemson University and the University of South Florida in the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl,” said Will Webb, Executive Director. “Both teams have played extremely hard this year with every game being very competitive. We feel that the Tigers and Bulls will be a very entertaining and compelling matchup on the field for everyone watching. We look forward to hosting everyone in Charlotte on New Year’s eve for this exciting game and all the surrounding events.”

Clemson finished the season with a 6-6 overall record (4-4 in the ACC, tied for third in the Atlantic Division. The Tigers defeated bowl-bound NC State, Maryland and Georgia Tech. Three of their four conference losses were by less than a touchdown. In addition, they lost to #1-ranked Auburn by just three points in overtime.

South Florida finished the regular season with a 7-5 record (3-4 in the Big East, tied for third place). Three of the Bulls four conference losses were by less than a touchdown, including a three-point loss to BCS-bound UConn. South Florida defeated bowl-eligible Louisville and in-state rival Miami.

Tickets for the Meineke Car Care Bowl are on sale now and only available through TicketMaster and the participating schools. Upper Level Seats begin at just $40. To purchase individual tickets, please visit any TicketMaster outlet in the southeast or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

To order from TicketMaster by phone, call 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Carolina Panthers Box Office, located at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The first college bowl game to call the Carolinas home, the Meineke Car Care Bowl has averaged over 60,000 fans each year with three sellouts in its eight years. In addition, the game has reached over 22 million television households. In 2003, it was named one of the five-best start-ups in sports over the past five years by the Sports Business Journal, behind only the NFL Houston Texans and ESPN the Magazine.

Statement from Clemson Athletic Director Dr. Terry Don Phillips:

“We are delighted for the opportunity to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against South Florida. The great support our fans have shown through communication to the Meineke Car Care Bowl was very convincing and we appreciate the outstanding support of our fans. That strong support was significant in its decision. It is great exposure to play on New Year’s Eve and we are looking forward to playing a good, solid team in South Florida, who narrowly lost to Big East Champion Connecticut on Saturday.”

Statement from Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney:

“We are excited about playing South Florida in Charlotte in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. It’s a great situation for our fans. One of the main reasons we were selected for this bowl is because of our great fan support and the passion of our fans.
“We’ve never played in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, so we look forward to representing our school and conference during the week and on gameday. We haven’t won bowl games in back-to-back seasons since 1989-90, so hopefully we can accomplish that feat and end the season on a positive note.

“South Florida presents us with an outstanding matchup. Skip Holtz has done a great job in his first year as head coach of the Bulls. They beat Miami (FL), who beat us, so it will be a great matchup and we look forward to playing them in the bowl game.”

Statement from USF Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard:

“It's a great honor to be selected by the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Executive Director Will Webb, Charlotte Collegiate Football and the wonderful volunteers associated with the bowl have established a terrific reputation for hosting a game and event that is truly first class. We had the opportunity to experience their hospitality firsthand, when we made our inaugural bowl trip to Charlotte in 2005. Our fans had a wonderful time and there is no doubt they will be very excited to return.”

“Currently, our program is riding a wave of momentum behind first-year head coach Skip Holtz. I think people around the country recognize that and it was reflected in our selection by the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Coach Holtz has done a magnificent job with this football team and program in just a short time. He has provided outstanding leadership from day one and built a very competitive product on the field. I am so proud of our football team. They have shown tremendous character throughout the year and the young men and their outstanding coaching staff are very, very deserving of this opportunity.”

Statement from USF Head Football Coach Skip Holtz:

“I’m extremely excited for this coaching staff, these players and our fan base about having the opportunity to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. This group has worked extremely hard throughout the year, so a trip to Charlotte is the perfect way to finish off the season. I’ve been fortunate enough to have many great bowl experiences during my career and I hear that the Meineke Car Care Bowl is as good as any bowl in the country. It is a first-class operation and we’re really excited to have the opportunity to represent the BIG EAST conference. We’re looking forward to a great week and a great game in Charlotte.”

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