After some nail-biting finishes and hair-pulling moments, the Eagles have officially found out where they will be flying for its next destination of the 2023-24 season.
It was announced on Sunday, Dec. 3, that the Eastern Michigan University football team (6-6, 4-4 MAC) will be playing in the 68 Ventures Bowl against South Alabama University (6-6, 4-4 Sun Belt Conference) in Mobile, Ala.
It will mark EMU’s third consecutive bowl game, the most consecutive selections in program history, as well as their sixth bowl game berth since 2016, which is tied for the most in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
EMU also ranks second in the state of Michigan’s bowl appearances since 2016, only trailing the University of Michigan, which holds seven appearances.
It will be the first time that the two schools will face off against each other, as South Alabama’s home stadium will serve as the neutral site location for the game.
The Jaguars enter the matchup with the 45th overall scoring offense in the nation (30.9 points per game) while ranking 37th in scoring defense (21.9 points allowed per game).
Quarterback Carter Bradley leads the Jaguars’ offense as he totaled 2,660 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year while running back La’Damian Webb posted 1,007 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
The Eagles' defense enters with the 51st-ranked scoring defense in the country (24 points allowed per game), as the linebacker duo of Chase Kline (143 total tackles) and Joe Sparacio (134 total tackles) leads this resilient defense.
The offensive attack for EMU ranks 114th in the nation (20.3 points per game) and is led by the running back duo of Samson Evans and Jaylon Jackson. Evans totaled 635 yards and 12 touchdowns while Jackson went for 574 rushing yards, 221 receiving yards, and four touchdowns.
First-year starting quarterback Austin Smith finished the season with 1,775 yards and nine touchdowns.
EMU will be looking to win back-to-back bowl games this season after defeating San Jose State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last season, 41-27. They are currently 2-5 all-time in bowl game appearances as San Jose State sits as the lone school that the Eagles have beaten in a bowl game (California Bowl, 1987).
The last time the Eagles made the trip to Mobile, Ala., they participated in the LendingTree Bowl against Liberty University where they suffered a loss to the Flames, 56-20.
Kickoff is set for Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. EST. at Hancock-Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Ala. It will be streamed live on ESPN.