Now in its' seventh year of existence, this bowl game was originally certified as the Queen City Bowl and had Continental Tire as the title sponsor from 2002-2004. Meineke Car Care Centers took over title sponsorship in 2005.
North Carolina, which missed postseason play the last three years, fell 37-24 to Boston College in the 2004 edition of this game to snap a five-game bowl winning streak. That contest was then the most-watched bowl game in the history of ESPN2.
The only previous meeting between these schools was a 20-13 Tar Heel victory in the Gator Bowl at the end of the 1996 season.
North Carolina (8-4) has the No. 26 ranked defense in passing efficiency with a 110.91 opponent rating. The Tar Heels' scoring defense is ranked 29th, holding
opposing offenses to 20.33 points per game.
Trimane Goddard has 0.58 interceptions per game to tie for the national lead in interceptions with Georgia Tech’s Morgan Burnett. Quan Sturdivant has 9.25 tackles for North Carolina to rank third in the league and in a tie for 21st in the nation.
North Carolina is 12-13 in bowl games.
West Virginia, 12-15 in bowl games and riding a three-game bowl
winning streak, is 0-2 in Charlotte. West Virginia fell 48-22 to Virginia in the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl, and was was defeated 30-23 by East Carolina when it opened the 1999 season at Bank off America Stadium.
West Virginia is 94-95-5 against current members of the ACC, and has won the last three meetings against ACC opposition. In bowl games, West Virginia is 2-9 against the ACC with wins over Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl to conclude the 2006 season, and N.C. State in the 1975 Peach Bowl.
The 8-4 Mountaineers finished in a tie for second place in the Big East and are coming off a 13-7 win over USF on a snowy evening in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers boast the nation’s 12th-ranked rushing offense with 217.17 yards per game, and the 65th-ranked total offense with 352.50 yards per game.
The Mountaineer defense has allowed only 15.92 points per game to rank ninth in scoring defense.
West Virginia has been good in the turnover game, accruing a +1.00 turnover margin to rank 12th in the nation and tops in the Big East.
Noel Devine is ranked 22nd nationally in rushing yardage with 102.33 yards per game, while Pat White has averaged 83.55 rushing yards per game to rank 52nd. White also ranks 35th nationally in passing efficiency with a 135.64 rating.
The game will be televised on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 27.