MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Arkansas State University and Florida International University have been selected to play in the sixth annual Camellia Bowl at the historic Cramton Bowl. The 2019 Camellia Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 4:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPN.

“We are excited to bring Arkansas State and Florida International to Montgomery for this year’s Camellia Bowl,” said Johnny Williams, executive director of the Camellia Bowl. “We have had some tremendous matchups in the past. We welcome Arkansas State back to Montgomery, and FIU for the first time. We look forward to another exciting game.”

Arkansas State (7-5, 5-3 Sun Belt) is one of five bowl eligible teams for the Sun Belt Conference. ASU finished second in the Western Division behind Louisiana. The Red Wolves had the third-best overall record in the league, along with Georgia Southern and Georgia State. Arkansas State has one of the most prolific passing offenses in the nation. ASU leads the Sun Belt Conference and ranks in the top 20 nationally in completion percentage and passing efficiency. ASU quarterback Layne Hatcher leads the Sun Belt Conference in completions percentage (.683), passing efficiency (173.5) and yards per completion (14.2).

Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson has compiled a 46-30 (.605) record in six seasons as head coach. Under Anderson, ASU has had six straight winning seasons and made six straight bowl appearances.

Arkansas State is making its ninth straight bowl appearance and second Camellia Bowl appearance. ASU ties fellow Sun Belt Conference member Appalachian State for the most Camellia Bowl appearances. Middle Tennessee defeated Arkansas State 35-30 in the 2017 Camellia Bowl. Overall, ASU is making its 10th all-time bowl appearance. Six of the 10 bowl appearances have been played in the state of Alabama.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play in a bowl game for the ninth straight year,” said A-State head coach Blake Anderson.  “The Camellia Bowl offers a great experience for our players and the hospitality shown by Montgomery is fantastic.  We’re looking forward to getting back on the field for another game with the opportunity to finish our season strong.”

Florida International (6-6, 3-5 Conference USA) is one of eight bowl eligible teams from Conference USA. The Golden Panthers led C-USA (3rd FBS) in punt returns this season. FIU averaged 20.8 yards per return this season. Dimitry Prophete and Maurice Alexander both have punt return TDs this season.

FIU head coach Butch Davis has compiled a 23-15 (.605) record in three seasons with the Golden Panthers. Davis has posted a 160-102 (.638) record in 13 seasons at Miami, North Carolina and FIU. Davis will be coaching in his 10th bowl game in 13 seasons as head coach. 

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