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Courtesy: Grant Shorin
Duke Bound for Chick-fil-A Bowl
Tuesday 12/09/2013  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. – Led by 2013 Walter Camp Foundation National Coach of the Year David Cutcliffe, Duke University will play in consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history by meeting Texas A&M University in the 46th annual Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday, December 31 in Atlanta, Ga.

Kickoff at the Georgia Dome is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally live on ESPN.

Gary Stokan, executive director of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, extended the invitation to the Blue Devils on Sunday.  The meeting between the 22nd-ranked Blue Devils (10-3) and 20th-ranked Aggies (8-4) will mark the first on the gridiron between the two schools.

Blue Devil fans are encouraged to purchase tickets from the Duke allotment on GoDuke.com.  

“We’re obviously thrilled to be selected to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which continues to have a great partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference, and to have the opportunity to play against a terrific Texas A&M squad,” said Cutcliffe.  “The Chick-fil-A Bowl has long been considered one of the top-tier and most prestigious bowls across the college football landscape and Atlanta is without a doubt one of the college football’s premier cities.  I’m extremely excited for our seniors, who will finish their careers as the first group in Duke history to play in back-to-back bowl games.  As I’ve said before, we’ve had the finest leadership from our players in my 33 seasons of coaching at the collegiate level.  After our exam schedule this week, we look forward to getting back to the practice field in preparation for what I anticipate to be a great game on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta.”

Cutcliffe twice coached previously in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, then known as the Peach Bowl, as an assistant with the University of Tennessee.  The Volunteers dropped a 28-22 decision to Iowa in 1982 and earned a 27-22 victory over Indiana in 1988.  Cutcliffe, who is 4-2 all-time as a head coach in bowl games, will participate in the 24th bowl game of his coaching career.

Offensively, the Blue Devils are led by All-ACC wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who has already established school single-season records for pass receptions (96) and receiving yardage (1,197) while totaling 10 touchdowns.  The Monroe, N.C., native leads the ACC and ranks 13th nationally in receptions per game (7.4).  Overall, Duke averages 31.6 points and 408.1 yards per game and is the first squad in school history to amass 20-plus rushing touchdowns and 20-plus passing touchdowns in a season.

On defense, three first team All-ACC picks – linebacker Kelby Brown, safety Jeremy Cash and cornerback Ross Cockrell – highlight a unit that has allowed just 44 fourth-quarter points through 13 games this year.  Brown has posted 106 tackles including 9.5 tackles for loss while Cash has compiled 117 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss and four interceptions.  A two-time first team all-conference selection and two-year team captain, Cockrell is the school’s all-time leader in total passes defended with 53 on 12 interceptions and 41 pass breakups.

With an all-time record of 3-6, Duke will make its 10th bowl game appearance.  The Blue Devils also have appeared in the Rose Bowl (1938 & 1941 seasons), Sugar Bowl (1944), Orange Bowl (1954 & 1957), Cotton Bowl (1960), All American Bowl (1989), Hall of Fame Bowl (1994) and Belk Bowl (2012).

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