ATLANTA – Duke and Texas A&M will meet in a sold-out Chick-fil-A Bowl at 8 p.m. in prime time on New Year’s Eve in the 22nd renewal of the ACC vs. SEC rivalry game.
"Getting a matchup like this is like getting to open your Christmas presents early," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. "Pitting a 10-win Duke team, coming off its best season ever, against an SEC powerhouse brand like Texas A&M is going to create a very compelling shootout that we’ll get to show off in front of a sold-out crowd in the Georgia Dome New Year’s Eve."
Duke (10-3, 6-2 ACC) comes into the game as winners in eight of its last nine games. Under Walter Camp Coach of the Year winner David Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils earned their first Coastal Division title, won 10 games for the first time in school history, and have a chance to make it 11 against the Aggies.
"We are absolutely thrilled to accept the invitation to play in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl," said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. "This is indeed a magical time for Duke football ... To be sure, what has been accomplished during David’s tenure at Duke has been simply remarkable and we could not be more proud that this unprecedented season will culminate with an appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl."
"I’m extremely excited for our seniors, who will finish their careers as the first group in Duke history to play in back-to-back bowl games," said Cutcliffe.
The resepctive teams will be meeting on the gridiron for the very first time in this game, and each is making its first appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4 SEC) enters with one of the nation’s premier offenses led by 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. The Aggies’ attack ranks in the top 10 in passing, scoring, pass efficiency and total offense while playing in the brutally tough SEC West.
Texas A&M head coacc Kevin Sumlin said, "We are extremely excited to be playing in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, right in the heart of SEC Country. I have known Coach Cutcliffe for a number of years. I have the utmost respect for him and his program at Duke. They have put together a terrific season and this will be a challenge for our team."
The ACC leads the SEC 11 wins to 10 since the two conferences began meeting for regional bragging rights in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 1992. This will mark the final ACC vs. SEC Chick-fil-A Bowl in its current format before the Chick-fil-A Bowl joins the College Football Playoff next season.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com give Texas A&M an 8.48-point edge for the 11th-largest margin of the 35 postseason games.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the ACC and SEC.
Now in its 46th year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has established itself as one of the nation’s elite bowl games with a string of 16 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Fifty-six percent of its games have been decided by a touchdown or less.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl has disbursed more than $117 million in team payouts over its 45-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $15 million to organizations in need since 2002.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl was a 2008 winner of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Philanthropy Award and was named a Top 300 Businesses of the South in 2011 by Business Leader Media.
The Bowl was also the founding sponsor and original recruiter of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Other events under the Chick-fil-A Bowl brand include the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament each spring and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game season-opening game over Labor Day weekend.More information about the Chick-fil-A Bowl and its events is available at www.chick-fil-abowl.com.