MONTGOMERY – Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State rolled into town Tuesday afternoon to kickoff activities for the 2017 Camellia Bowl. The fourth annual Camellia Bowl will be played Saturday, Dec. 16 at historic Cramton Bowl. The game will be televised by ESPN with kickoff set for 7:05 p.m. (CDT).
The teams arrived at the respective hotels in the late afternoon and both head coaches met with the media at the Head Coaches Welcome and Press Conference, presented by Guardian Credit Union and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama.
Middle Tennessee closed the season with three wins in its last four games to become bowl eligible. Conference USA had 10 bowl eligible teams this season.
“I’d like to thank (Camellia Bowl Executive Director) Johnny (Williams) and the City of Montgomery and the Camellia Bowl for this opportunity that has presented itself for our football team,” Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill said. “It’s something that we’re excited to be here, we’re excited to play Arkansas State, who had a wonderful year this year. (Arkansas State head coach) Blake (Anderson) has done a great job in the time that he’s been there, his staff, their players. They had an outstanding year as well. So it’s an honor to compete against a team like Arkansas State.
“Our players are truly, truly excited and anxious to play this game and represent our university and our football team and honor you guys, the City of Montgomery and the Camellia Bowl in this game. I’m truly, truly humbled and honored to be here and our team feels the same way. And, again, I just appreciate this opportunity and look forward to competing on Saturday night.”
Arkansas State is playing in its seventh straight bowl game.
“What I’ll promise you about our team is they’ll play hard on Saturday night and they will take every opportunity given to them this week and try to do the best they can,” Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson said. “Whether it’s an event offered by the bowl, a charitable event offered in the community, whatever it may be. Something we always pride ourselves in is we’re going to jump in, roll our sleeves up and do the very best we can to represent our university, the bowl itself and the conference. So we appreciate the opportunity, all the people that it takes to get this game off the ground and run at a high level, but we’re going to do our part, too, to make this a great game.”
Following the press conference, both athletic department staffs and coaching staffs attended an ESPN Welcome Reception on the Harriott II Riverboat on the Alabama River.