Duke football to play in Chick-fil-A Bowl
No. 22 Duke will face No. 20 Texas A&M in this year's Chick-fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The contest is set for Dec. 31, 2013 at 8 p.m. The Blue Devils are the ACC's Coastal Division champions and are fresh off a 45-7 loss to No. 1 Florida State in the conference championship game.
"The Chick-fil-A Bowl has long been considered one of the top-tier and most prestigious bowls across the college football landscape and Atlanta is without a doubt one of the college football’s premier cities," Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said in a press release. "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."
Led by 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, the Aggies finished 8-4 this season and 4-4 in the SEC. The Chick-fil-A Bowl will be the first-ever matchup between Duke and Texas A&M on the gridiron.
"I've watched as the whole nation has watched Johnny Manziel wow us all," Cutcliffe said. "I love great competitors and great quarterbacks, and he is both of those. That's why he won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, and very deservedly so."
The Blue Devils' bowl appearance will mark the team's second straight bowl game, a feat that Duke accomplished for the first time in program history this year. The Blue Devils have never played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and participated in the Belk Bowl in 2012.
A number of Blue Devil players hail from the state of Georgia, including senior running back Juwan Thompson, redshirt freshman safety DeVon Edwards, freshman safety Deondre Singleton, redshirt sophomore punter Will Monday, redshirt junior linebacker C.J. France and redshirt junior nose guard Jamal Bruce.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is one of the nation's oldest bowl games, dating back to 1968. It was originally known as the Peach Bowl and later became the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Duke will net approximately $3.97 million from the conference's bowl contract.
"It's been incredible to watch the growth of the bowl game. I was once involved with what was known as the Peach Bowl back in 1982, and to see what's occurred over that time is a great tribute to a lot of people there over in Atlanta," Cutcliffe said.
This story was last updated at 9:38 p.m.