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Bahamas Bowl: Blue Raiders, Rockets Accept Invites

NASSAU, Bahamas – Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will represent Conference USA and Toledo Rockets will represent the MidAmerican Conference as both institutions accepted bids today to the 2021 Bahamas Bowl, set for Friday, December 17 in Nassau’s Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.

The Bahamas Bowl will be played at 12p.m. ET, and will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on Bowl Season Radio. Middle Tennessee (6-6, 4-4 C-USA) and Toledo (7-5, 5-3 MAC) will play for The Prime Minister’s Trophy, awarded to the champion of the Bahamas Bowl. It will be a return to The Bahamas for both schools, as Middle Tennessee participated in the 2015 game, and Toledo played in the 2018 edition.

The Bahamas Bowl, which will kick off the 2021 Bowl Season, is the longest-running international bowl game in college football history. It debuted in 2014.

The early invitation allows both Middle Tennessee and Toledo additional time to prepare to play in an international destination, including obtaining passports for those who still need them to travel to the Bahamas as well as giving extra time for fans to make their travel plans to Nassau for bowl week.

Tickets to the 2021 Bahamas Bowl can be purchased through the ticket offices of the participating institutions. A reminder that all US citizens who wish to attend the game must have a valid US Passport to enter the Bahamas, and a Bahamas Travel Health Visa (travel.gov.bs) is required prior to travel to the Bahamas.

Fans wishing to purchase rooms at the host resort for the Bahamas Bowl, the Atlantis Bahamas, can do so by clicking the Bowl Travel tab at BahamasBowl.com.

This will be the first meeting between Middle Tennessee and Toledo. The all-time Bahamas Bowl series between Conference USA and the MAC is tied 3-3.

Middle Tennessee will play in its 13th bowl game, while Toledo will participate in its 18th bowl game.

Middle Tennessee (6-6 overall, 4-4 Conference USA) is led by head coach Rick Stockstill, who is in his 16th season (100-98) as a college head coach, all with the Blue Raiders. Stockstill leads Middle Tennessee to a bowl game for the ninth time in his career. The 2021 Bahamas Bowl will be the first bowl game for Middle Tennessee since the 2018 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

“On behalf of our President, Dr. Sidney McPhee, I am honoured and above excited about accepting a bowl invitation from the Bahamas Bowl,” said Middle Tennessee director of athletics Chris Massaro.

“This will be our second trip to the Bahamas Bowl, and our experience was second to none at a place that is truly paradise.

“We can’t wait to get there and create memories of a lifetime for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.”

“We are honoured to be representing Conference USA in the Bahamas Bowl,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill. “I am thrilled for this team and especially our senior class. This is a tremendous award for a team who has overcome a ton of adversity this season. We can’t wait to get there.”

Toledo (7-5 overall, 5-3 MAC) is led by head coach Jason Candle, who is in his sixth full season (45- 26) as a collegiate head coach, all with the Rockets, Candle coaches Toledo in a bowl game for the fifth time in his career.

The 2021 Bahamas Bowl will be the first bowl game for the Rockets since the 2018 Bahamas Bowl.

“We are extremely excited to accept an invitation to play in the Bahamas Bowl against Middle Tennessee,” said Toledo vice-president and athletic director Mike O’Brien.

“We had a wonderful bowl experience on our trip to the Bahamas three years ago and are looking forward to working with the people of the Bahamas again to make this a memorable and rewarding experience. I also want to congratulate head coach Jason Candle, his staff and our entire Rocket football team for earning this bowl invitation and finishing our 2021 season strong.”

“We are excited to participate in the Bahamas Bowl,” said Toledo head coach Jason Candle. “It is an outstanding bowl game and will be the first time many of our players have the opportunity to travel outside the United States. The hospitality shown to our football team last time we were there was incredible. The Bahamas Bowl is a great way for our players and staff to cap off our 2021 season.”

“Congratulations to Middle Tennessee and Toledo, along with their student-athletes, coaches, staffs and fans on their invitation to the 2021 Bahamas Bowl,” said Richard Giannini, executive director of the Bahamas Bowl.

“Both schools had very successful seasons, and we are very excited about the matchup of the Blue Raiders and Rockets on December 17. We know everyone involved with Middle Tennessee and Toledo will have a wonderful experience during bowl week in the Bahamas and at the Atlantis Bahamas resort.”

For more information on the 2021 Bahamas Bowl, visit BahamasBowl.com. The game is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

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