The University of Notre Dame and the University of Miami have both accepted invitations to participate in the 77th annual Hyundai Sun Bowl, announced Sun Bowl Association football selection committee chairman John H. Folmer. The game will pit the Hurricane and Irish on Friday, Dec. 31 at noon (MT) at Sun Bowl Stadium. The game will be broadcast for the 43rd consecutive year on CBS.
“After a great game last year, who would have thought that we could have two great football schools like Notre Dame and Miami in the Hyundai Sun Bowl,” said John Folmer, football selection chairman. “After waiting 77 years, the stars have finally lined up for us. I have spent 40 years as a volunteer and I would have never thought I would see the day that Notre Dame and Miami would play in the Sun Bowl.”
Miami (7-5, 5-3 ACC) finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division and is making its first appearance in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The Hurricane are making their 11th bowl appearance in 12 years.
“This is one of those situations where the history speaks for itself. We have two great programs that have incredible history and we are playing in the second oldest bowl on national television,” said Miami head coach Jeff Stoutland. “The players will be excited. We’re playing Notre Dame, and these guys know the history behind them and the rivalry between these programs. This is their chance to be a part of one of the greatest rivalries in the game.”
Notre Dame (7-5), who closed out the season with a win over USC, is also making its first appearance in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The Irish are making their 11th bowl appearance in the last 13 years.
“We are thrilled about getting Notre Dame back to a bowl game, especially one with tradition like the Hyundai Sun Bowl,” said Irish head coach Brian Kelly. “Following our victory at USC, we internally targeted the Sun Bowl as a great game for us because of the national exposure the game receives and the top-notch opponent we will face in Miami. This game will serve as a perfect prelude to the three-game series we’ll experience in the coming years. We look forward to the great reception our school will receive in El Paso and experiencing the hospitality that has been a trademark of the Sun Bowl.”
The 2010 Hyundai Sun Bowl will mark the 24th meeting between these two teams, but the first since 1990. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 15-7-1. The two teams have never met in a bowl game.
“This is unbelievable. The Sun Bowl is on a roll now. The bar was set high after last year’s matchup (Oklahoma-Stanford) and it looks like we have reached that mark again,” said Amen F. Ayoub, Sun Bowl Association president. “We are extremely excited to have Notre Dame. We have been trying to get the Irish to El Paso for years. Being able to match them against Miami should make for an exciting matchup between two historic programs.”
“We are excited about the matchup and what it means to El Paso,” said Bernie Olivas, executive director of the Sun Bowl Association. “These are two storied programs that have combined to win 16 national championships and this game will help ring in the new era of the Hyundai Sun Bowl. In 2010, El Paso has been named an All-America City, named the safest city in America and now we have Notre Dame and Miami in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Does it get any better than this?”
The Miami offense is led by quarterback Jacory Harris, running backs Damien Berry and Lamar Miller, as well as wide receiver Leonard Hankerson. Miami ranks 26th nationally in rushing offense and 31st in total offense. Linebackers Colin McCarthy and Sean Spence and defensive end Allen Baily pace the Hurricane defense. Miami ranks 16th nationally in total defense and second in BCS in pass defense.
“The University of Miami is honored to accept the invitation to the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The Sun Bowl and the people of El Paso have a reputation for first-class hospitality and service to the student-athlete experience during bowl week,” said Kirby Hocutt, Miami director of athletics. “I don’t think we could have asked for a more attractive opponent than Notre Dame. Our two Universities have a great history on the gridiron and will be a nice prelude to our upcoming three game series.”
Notre Dame is led by an offensive trio of quarterback Tommy Rees, running back Cierre Wood and wideout Michael Floyd. The Fighting Irish rank 29th nationally in passing offense and 63rd in total offense. On defense, Notre Dame is led by linebackers Manti Te’o and Harrison Smith and defensive backs Harrison Smith and Gary Gray. The Irish are 26th nationally in pass efficiency defense and 29th in scoring defense.
“The University of Notre Dame is proud to accept the offer from the Sun Bowl Committee and we eagerly anticipate our travels to El Paso,” said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame director of athletics. “This bowl is rich in tradition and we look forward to contributing to it this year. Our fans will enjoy El Paso and our University is excited to immerse itself in the welcoming community. I want to congratulate Coach Kelly, our coaching staff and team, but especially our seniors on finishing the season in such a strong fashion to put us in position to play in this prestigious game.”
Miami will be making its 36th bowl appearance and is 19-16-0 all-time in bowl games. This marks Notre Dame’s 30th bowl appearance and the Irish are 14-15-0 all-time in bowl games.
The 77th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 31 at noon (MST). CBS Sports will broadcast the game for the 43rd consecutive year, which is the longest running partnership between a network and a bowl game. Ticket prices for the game are $15, $20, $30, $40, $50 and $60. Tickets can be purchased at the Sun Bowl Association office (915-533-4416, 800-915-BOWL or firstname.lastname@example.org ), online at www.ticketmaster.com  or at any TicketMaster outlet.