MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Ball State and Georgia State are set to meet in the eighth annual TaxAct Camellia Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 25, at 1:30 p.m., CT on ESPN. The game will be played at the historic Cramton Bowl in downtown Montgomery.
Ball State (6-6) is one of eight bowl eligible teams from the Mid-American Conference. All six teams in the MAC West Division finished with .500 record or better. Ball State clinched its second straight bowl berth with a 20-3 win over Buffalo in the regular season finale.
Georgia State (7-5) won six of its last seven games to close the regular season. The Panthers finished 6-2 in Sun Belt Conference play with the only two losses coming to division winners Louisiana and Appalachian State. GSU suffered a 34-24 loss at Auburn on Sept. 25 in a game they lead in the fourth quarter. Georgia State launched its football program in 2010 and reached full FBS status in 2014, and the Panthers have earned bowl berths in five of the last seven years.
“We are thrilled to have Ball State and Georgia State in the TaxAct Camellia Bowl,” executive director Johnny Williams said. “We have had a history of competitive, down-to-the wire games and this year should be no different. We are excited that Ball State and Georgia State will be spending Christmas in Montgomery.”
Ball State is making its 11th all-time bowl appearance. BSU posted its first bowl win in school history with a 34-13 win over San Jose State in last year’s Arizona Bowl. The school’s bowl history dates back to the 1965 Grantland Rice Bowl. Ball State will be playing its third bowl game in the state of Alabama. The Cardinals played in the 2009 GMAC Bowl and 2014 GoDaddy Bowl, both played in Mobile.
Georgia State (7-5) is making its third straight bowl appearance under Shawn Elliott. The Panthers defeated Western Kentucky 39-21 in the 2020 LendingTree Bowl in Mobile. GSU lost to Wyoming 38-17 in the 2019 Arizona Bowl. The Panthers made their bowl debut in the 2015 Cure Bowl. Georgia State posted their first bowl win in school history with a 27-17 win over Western Kentucky in the 2017 Cure Bowl.
The City of Montgomery is synonymous with Christmas Day bowl games. The annual Blue-Gray Football Classic was played at the historic Cramton Bowl from 1939-2003. The inaugural game was played on Jan. 1, 1939. The Blue-Gray Football Classic was first played on Christmas Day in 1954. The event became an annual Christmas Day tradition beginning in 1979.
Montgomery has also served as the home to the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff, the Montgomery Bowl and the Boeing Red Tails Classic games, also managed by ESPN Events.
The 2021 TaxAct Camellia Bowl will be the 30th bowl game played on Christmas Day. Last year’s Camellia Bowl was the first Christmas Day Bowl game since the 2003 Hawaii Bowl when Hawaii outlasted Houston 54-48 in triple-overtime. The first Christmas Day Bowl game was the 1922 San Diego East-West Christmas Classic as West Virginia defeated Gonzaga 21-13.
Playing on Christmas Day adds to the excitement of the TaxAct Camellia Bowl, which has had some thrilling games with the first seven games decided by 32 total points. All seven games have been decided in the fourth quarter, with three games decided on the final play.
Tickets for the 2021 TaxAct Camellia Bowl can be purchased online (https://www.camelliabowl.com/tickets). ESPN Zone Tickets are priced at $150 each. Reserved grandstand tickets are $30 each.
CAMELLIA BOWL ALL-TIME RESULTS:
Bowling Green 33, South Alabama 28 (Dec. 20, 2014)
Appalachian State 31, Ohio 29 (Dec. 19, 2015)
Appalachian State 31, Toledo 28 (Dec. 17, 2016)
Middle Tennessee 35, Arkansas State 30 (Dec. 16, 2017)
Georgia Southern 23, Eastern Michigan 21 (Dec. 15, 2018)
Arkansas State 34, FIU 26 (Dec. 21, 2019)
Buffalo 17, Marshall 10 (Dec. 25, 2020)
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About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events and a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.