As one of eight teams in the nation to enter bowl season on the hunt for a fourth-straight bowl title, the WKU Hilltoppers (6-6) have accepted an invitation to face Georgia State (6-5) in the third annual AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 16.
The bowl game, played in Camping World Stadium in Orlando, is set for a 1:30 p.m. CT kick off and will be aired nationally on CBS Sports Network. It marks the third consecutive trip to Florida during bowl season for the Hilltoppers who have headed south each of the last four years: Bahamas Bowl (2014), Miami Beach Bowl (2015), Boca Raton Bowl (2016), and now the Cure Bowl (2017).
“We are thrilled to accept the invitation to the 2017 AutoNation Cure Bowl and represent Conference USA as we go for our fourth-straight bowl victory,” said Director of Athletics Todd Stewart. “It is a testament to the hard work of so many, and another terrific bowl destination for our coaches, staff, student-athletes and fans.”
It will be the fourth consecutive bowl game for WKU and fifth in the last six years. WKU has reached bowl eligibility in seven consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in C-USA and are one of just eight teams this bowl season to have bowl victories from 2014-16. It will be the 28th postseason game for the program where the Toppers are 17-10 all-time.
WKU and Georgia State meet for just the second time in program history. The two previously met in 2013 during the Hilltoppers’ final season as members of the Sun Belt Conference. WKU, then under the reins of head coach Bobby Petrino, defeated the Panthers 44-28 in the now demolished Georgia Dome during GSU’s inaugural season in the conference.
Led by quarterback and Senior Bowl invitee Mike White, the Hilltoppers have one of the nation’s most dynamic passing attacks. At 333.7 passing yards per game, WKU is ranked No. 9 nationally in passing offense while White leads C-USA passers in yards (3,826), completion percentage (65.6), completions (342) and passing yards per game (318.8). He is also the conference’s leader in Total Offense (300.3) for the second consecutive season.
The game will also feature a matchup of rookie head coaches as both WKU’s Mike Sanford and Georgia State’s Shawn Elliot are both in their first season at the helm of their respective programs. It will be just the second bowl game in the history of the Panther program which was founded in 2010. GSU also participated in the 2015 Cure Bowl, falling to San Jose State 27-16.
Tickets for the 2017 AutoNation Cure Bowl can be purchased through the WKU Ticket Office this week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or online at WKUTickets.com. Tickets are $25 and $50, depending on location, and the deadline to order tickets to insure priority seating will be Wednesday Dec. 5th at 5:00pm. Tickets will be available to purchase until game day. For more information please contact the ticket office at 1-800-5-BIGRED.
The AutoNation Cure Bowl is more than a game. It’s a celebration of the women who are living with breast cancer today and those who will face it tomorrow. In the first two games, the AutoNation Cure Bowl has donated over $2.3 million to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The bowl is organized by The Orlando Sports Foundation, Inc. The Orlando Sports Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising funding and awareness for organizations working to find a cure for cancer. OSF hosts many fundraising events throughout the year benefiting a short list of cancer and cancer research causes.
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Associate Athletic Director, Athletic Communications/Media Relations