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December 8, 2013

Terps to face Marshall in Military Bowl

The Maryland football team is headed back to the Military Bowl for the second time in four years, the school announced on Sunday night. In what will be their first venture into postseason play under third-year coach Randy Edsall, the Terps will take on Marshall on Friday, December 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis in front of a national audience on ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

"It's one of those things where we're very excited to get the opportunity to play in the Military Bowl," Edsall said on a Sunday night conference call. "One of the things we've talked about is Maryland Pride and we get a chance to play in our state capital."

The Terps (7-5) sprinted out to a 4-0 start this year before their roster was crippled by injury. After losing three in a row, they were able to salvage their season and clinch bowl eligibility by winning two of their last three, including an impressive overtime win in Blacksburg over Virginia Tech.

"I think the fanbase will come out and support us," Edsall added. "When you take a look at our team and how we finished. We came on strong there at the end winning two out of the last three and having a heartbreaker in the Boston College game. Our guys are healthy again."

Maryland's last bowl appearance was in 2010, when they dominated East Carolina in the Military Bowl, then held at RFK Stadium. This bowl appearance is the 25th for the program and the fifth in eight years. They are 11-11-2 all-time and have won five of their last six.

"For us to be able to get back and to play in Annapolis will be great," Edsall said. "We haven't played there since 1965. Again, it being close to home, it allows us to play in front of our recruiting base."

The Thundering Herd (9-4) rode five straight wins to the Conference USA title game, where they were upset last Saturday by Rice, 41-24. The Marshall offense averages 43 points per game, which is good for seventh in the nation. They feature a balanced attack, ranking 21st in the nation in passing and 22nd in rushing. It will be the first ever meeting between the programs.

"We are looking forward to a first-rate matchup," Military Bowl president and executive director Steve Beck said in a press release. "Maryland has built plenty of momentum and finished this season strong, while Marshall features a high-powered offense. We're excited about this game being one of our best ever."

The Terps are the sixth team Edsall has led to the postseason. In 12 years at UConn, Edsall piloted the Huskies to five bowl appearances, accumulating a 3-2 record. UConn's participation in the 2004 Motor City Bowl was the first bowl appearance in the history of the program. The Terps were 6-18 in the first two years under Edsall.

"It's the last ACC appearance for us," Edsall said. "When this is over, we move onto the Big Ten and we hope that people will be a part of that."


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