MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Georgia Southern and Buffalo are set to meet in the ninth annual Camellia Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 11 a.m., CT on ESPN. The game will be played at the historic Cramton Bowl in downtown Montgomery.
Georgia Southern (6-6, 3-5 Sun Belt Conference) closed the season with a thrilling 51-48 double-overtime win over Appalachian State to become bowl eligible under first-year head coach Clay Helton. The signature win of the season came Sept. 10 when the Eagles traveled to Lincoln, Neb., and knocked off Nebraska 45-42. It was the school’s second all-time win over a Power 5 program. Georgia Southern beat Florida 26-20 in Gainesville in 2013. The Eagles also handed No. 25 James Madison its first loss of the season with a 45-38 win on Oct. 15.
Buffalo (6-6, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) used a late touchdown to defeat Akron 23-22 on Friday, Dec. 2 to become bowl eligible for the fourth time in five years. After starting the season 0-3, which included losses to Maryland and Coastal Carolina, Buffalo then reeled off five straight wins for head coach Maurice Linguist. Buffalo posted a 34-27 win over eventual MAC Champion Toledo on Oct. 22.“We are extremely excited to bring two former Camellia Bowl champions back to Montgomery,” Johnny Williams, executive director said. “Buffalo and Georgia Southern provided some late-game heroics in their previous trip to Montgomery, and both team closed the regular season with exciting wins to earn the trip to the Camellia Bowl.”
Georgia Southern defeated Eastern Michigan 23-21 on Dec. 15, 2018. Tyler Bass drilled a walk-off 40-yard field goal to give the Eagles their second all-time bowl victory. Bass, who is now the starting kicker for the Buffalo Bills, made three field goals in the win. Georgia Southern is making its fifth bowl appearance this season. The Eagles own a 3-1 all-time bowl record, with wins in the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl, 2018 Camellia Bowl and 2020 New Orleans Bowl.
Buffalo defeated Marshal 17-10 in the 2020 Camellia Bowl. Kevin Marks 2-yard touchdown run with 1:09 left in the game gave the Bulls the win on Christmas Day. The Bulls (6-1) finished No. 25 in the AP Poll to cap off a successful Covid season. Buffalo is making it sixth all-time bowl appearance, posting a 2-3 all-time record. Buffalo has won its last bowl games at the 2019 Bahamas Bowl and 2020 Camellia Bowl.
The Dec. 27 bowl date is the latest in the history of the Camellia Bowl after taking place on Christmas Day the past two seasons. The 11 a.m. start is also the earliest kickoff in the bowl’s nine-year history.
The City of Montgomery has also served as the home to the FCS Kickoff, the Montgomery Bowl, the Montgomery Kickoff and the Boeing Red Tails Classic games, also managed by ESPN Events.
The Camellia Bowl has had some thrilling games, with three game-winning field goals and two game-winning touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Appalachian State and Georgia Southern kicked walk-off field goals in 2016 and 2018, respectively. The first seven games were decided by 32 total points. Last year, Georgia State defeated Ball State 51-20 in the highest-scoring game in Camellia Bowl history.
Tickets for the 2022 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)
Georgia State 51, Ball State 20 (Dec. 25, 2021)
About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2022, the 32-event schedule includes three early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, and a college softball event, which account for approximately 400 hours of live programming, while reaching nearly 64 million viewers and attracting over 800,000 annual attendees. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.