The U.S. Naval Academy will meet Middle Tennessee State University in the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to be played in Fort Worth, on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013.
The 11th edition of this postseason college football bowl game, which is more than a bowl game with its military theme and involvement, will kick off at 10:45 a.m. (CST) from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU. The game will air on ESPN, ESPN Radio and will be carried worldwide on the Armed Forces Network.
By defeating UTEP, 48-17 on Nov. 30 at home in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Blue Raiders, led by Head Coach Rick Stockstill, finished the regular season with an 8-4 overall record in Conference USA.
“It is a distinct honor and privilege to have both the U.S. Naval Academy and Middle Tennessee in this year’s salute to the military of our country. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the City of Fort Worth are very excited to host both of these teams, their alumni as well as their fans,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the patriotic bowl. “I can assure you this game will add significantly to the legacy of this great event. The game itself will be the centerpiece to a memorable week of colorful festivities in the heart of Texas.”
Navy, coached by Ken Niumatalolo, is 8-4 after ending the season with a 12th straight win over rival Army and retaining the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy. With that victory, the Midshipmen ride in to Texas on a 4-game winning streak after splitting their first 8 games of the season. Navy bowl eligible on November 16 with a 42-14 win over South Alabama and was immediately extened its invitation to play in this game.
The Blue Raiders head to Fort Worth riding a five-game winning streak after going 6-2 in league play to finish tied for second in the East Division of C-USA.
While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is played in honor of the armed forces and has previously hosted the U.S. Military Academy (2010) and the U.S. Air Force Academy (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012), this is the first year that the bowl is hosting the Naval Academy. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is the only bowl game that has hosted all three U.S. Military Academies.
Navy’s Niumatalolo is in his sixth season at the helm of the Midshipmen and 16th overall with Navy football. During his first five-plus years as head coach at Navy, Niumatalolo’s Mids have compiled a record of 47-30 (.610) including appearances in four post-season bowl games plus this year’s BHAFB. He moved into third all-time in Navy career coaching wins this season. Niumatalolo has also been selected one of seven men in the inaugural class of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. He will be inducted Jan. 23, 2014 prior to the NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu
Middle Tennessee’s Stockstill is in his eighth season leading the Blue Raiders. His overall record at Middle Tennessee is 51-48 and this is the fourth bowl game he has led his school to during his tenure. A veteran coach, Stockstill has been part of the coaching staffs at Bethune-Cookman, Central Florida, Clemson, East Carolina and South Carolina before becoming head coach at Middle Tennessee in 2006. Stockstill has also been selected twice as the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.
Navy has been the most dominant service academy in the last decade plus in the battle for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, winning 20 of 22 (.909) meetings with Air Force and Army, including this year’s 28-10 win over Air Force.
ROAD TO FORT WORTH
Record: 8-4 • Home: 5-0 • Away: 2-4 • Neutral: 1-0
Date Opponent Result/Time Television Attendance Series History
W No. 1 9-7 at Indiana W, 41-35 Big Ten Network 47,013 Series tied, 2-2
W No. 2 9-14 Delaware W, 51-7 CBS Sports Network 36,208 Navy Leads, 10-7
L 9-28 at Western Kentucky L, 7-19 ESPNEWS 19,813 Navy Leads, 2-1
W No. 3 10-5 Air Force W, 28-10 CBS Network 38,225 Air Force Leads, 27-19
L 10-12 at Duke L, 7-35 Raycom Sports/ACC Network 23,749 Navy Leads, 20-15-5
L 44-45 (2 OT) 10-19 at Toledo ESPNEWS 18,221 Toledo Leads, 3-1
W No. 4 10-26 Pittsburgh W, 24-21 CBS Sports Network 37,094 Pittsburgh Leads 22-14-3
L 11-2 at Notre Dame L, 34-38 NBC 80,795 Notre Dame Leads, 74-12-1
W No. 5 11-9 Hawai’i W, 42-28 CBS Sports Network 33,327 Hawai’i Leads, 2-1
W No. 6 11-16 South Alabama W, 42-14 CBS Sports Network 33,086 Navy Leads 1-0
W No. 7 11-22 at San Jose State W, 58-52, CBS Sports Network 16,876 San Jose State Leads, 2-1
Win No. 8 12-14 Army at Philadelphia W, 34-7, CBS 81,000 Navy Leads, 58-49-7
Overall Record: 8-4 • Conference Record: 6-2 • Home: 5-1 • Away: 3-3 • Neutral: 0-0
Date Opponent Result Television Attendance
8-29 Western Carolina W, 45-24 None, 20,011
9-7 at North Carolina L, 20-40, ACC Network, 48,000
9-14 Memphis W, 17-15, CSS, 23,992
9-21 at FAU* W, 42-35 (ot), CSS, 13,911
9-27 at BYU L, 10-37, ESPNU 58,763
10-5 East Carolina* L, 17-24, FSN 20,109
10-12 at North Texas* L, 7-34, None 21,171
10-24 Marshall* W, 51-49, FS1 19,898
11-2 at UAB* W, 24-21, FCS 20,483
11-9 FIU* W, 48-0, FCS 16,717
11-23 at Southern Miss* W , 42-21, CSS 22,134
11-30 UTEP* W, 48-17, MyTV 30 11,560
*Conference USA Game
This will mark the third time in its 11-year history that the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be held on December 30, as the 2010 and 2011 contests were both held on that date. The most recent Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl was played Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 featuring a match-up between the Rice Owls and U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons, in which the Owls claimed the bowl victory 33-14. Last year’s showcase drew an attendance of 40,754.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com project Navy as the favorite by 3.45 points.