Miami has accepted an invitation to play in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, the school announced Sunday night. It marks Miami’s 35th bowl appearance and its first since 2010. The Russell Athletic Bowl will be Miami’s 37th postseason appearance; the Hurricanes played in the first two Palm Festival games – the precursor to the Orange Bowl.
It’ll be Miami’s fourth appearance in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Miami’s first two appearances were in Miami Gardens – a 31-21 win over Virginia in the 1996 Carquest Bowl and a 46-23 win over NC State in the 1998 MicronPC Bowl. Miami's last trip to Orlando was for the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl – a 20-14 loss to Wisconsin.
“On behalf of the University of Miami, President Shalala, the Board of Trustees, Coach Golden and our football program, we are honored to accept an invitation to play in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl,” Miami AD Blake James said. “We’re excited to play so close to home and look forward to Hurricanes fans painting Orlando orange and green.”
Miami (9-3, 5-3 ACC), ranked No. 25 in the final USA TODAY Sports Top 25 Coaches Poll, will face No. 18/16 Louisville (11-1, 7-1 AAC) at 6:45 p.m. ET on Dec. 28. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPN. It will be Louisville’s final game in the American Athletic Conference as the Cardinals will join the ACC on July 1, 2014.
The Hurricanes have won nine games for the first time since 2009 and look to win their first bowl game since 2006. Led by senior QB Stephen Morris, the Hurricanes opened the season 7-0 and climbed as high as No. 7 in the BCS rankings. Senior WR Allen Hurns (1,138) is only the fourth Hurricane in program history with a 1,000-yard receiving season and needs 19 yards to set the school single-season record. Morris needs 132 yards to become only the second QB in Miami history with multiple 3,000-yard seasons.
The Russell Athletic Bowl will be the 12th series meeting between the schools, with Miami holding a 9-1-1 series advantage. It will be the first series meeting since 2006, when No. 15 Miami lost 31-7 at No. 12 Louisville. It will also be the first series meeting at a neutral site; Miami is 5-0-1 at home against the Cardinals and 4-1 away from home.
Miami is allotted 13,500 tickets for the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl. Tickets, which are priced at $77 and $82, can be purchased through the UM Ticket Office online at CanesTix.com, in-person at BankUnited Center (M-F, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.) or by phone at 1-800-GO-CANES.