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College Football

Central Florida and Duke to meet in Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Central Florida and Duke will meet in the 2022 Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

Neither school has previously appeared in the game, which will be held Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m. and televised nationally by ESPN.

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UCF (9-4) is coming off a loss to Tulane in the American Athletic Conference championship game. After being ranked throughout the month of November, the Knights were not included in the final College Football Playoff rankings.

Duke (8-4) finished second in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference in its first season under coach Mike Elko, the former Texas A&M defensive coordinator. This is the first bowl bid since 2018 for the Blue Devils, who won four of their last five games.

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This will be the first meeting between Duke and UCF.

“It is an honor to be selected to participate in the Military Bowl and sincere appreciation goes to Steve Beck and the entire bowl staff for their dedication and commitment to providing a first-rate bowl experience for both programs,” Elko said. “Our team has worked extremely hard over the past 11 months to achieve this goal, and we are excited for the opportunity to prepare and play against a terrific UCF squad.”

UCF had a chance to host the AAC championship after beating a pair of ranked rivals in Cincinnati and Tulane. However, a 17-14 home upset at the hands of Navy proved costly.

North Carolina wide receiver Dazz Newsome, right, catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Howell as Temple linebacker Sam Franklin (4) and safety Ayron Monroe, left, try to defend during the second half of the 2019 Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

“Last year we gained great momentum for our UCF program with our bowl win over Florida,” UCF coach Gus Malzahn said. “Our goal is to do the same thing this year in the Military Bowl against a very good Duke team.”

The Military Bowl, which is presented by Peraton and benefits the USO, was not held in 2020 or 2021 because of the pandemic. Quarterback Sam Howell, now with the Washington Commanders, passed for 294 yards and three touchdowns to lead North Carolina to a 55-13 rout of Temple in the 2019 edition.

Proceeds from the Bowl benefit the USO and Patriot Point, the Military Bowl Foundation’s retreat for wounded, ill and injured service members, their families and caregivers.


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