STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut has accepted an invitation to play in the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl on Saturday, December 26 against Marshall University at Tropicana Field. The game will kickoff at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time and will be televised on ESPN.
Ticket and travel information for Husky fans and all bowl information is available at UConnBowl.com.
"The entire University of Connecticut Division of Athletics is excited and proud to accept an invitation in the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl," said UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. "Our football student-athletes and coaching staff have worked very hard this season and the results of those efforts have shown on the field. UConn Nation has a strong presence in Florida and we look forward to a strong showing of Husky fans at the game."
"The UConn football family is very honored to be playing in the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl," said UConn head football coach Bob Diaco. "I am especially excited for our senior class, who are an outstanding group of young men and have worked so hard for this. I also want to congratulate Marshall on their selection to the bowl and on an excellent season. We look forward to the challenge of meeting an outstanding football program. I know our strong fan and alumni base in Florida will be supportive of the St. Petersburg Bowl and will make their presence known."
UConn finished the regular season with a mark of 6-6 and 4-4 in the American Athletic Conference, including a win over nationally-ranked Houston on November 21 to secure bowl eligibility.
The Huskies are making their sixth bowl trip in school history with wins in the 2004 Motor City, 2009 International and 2010 Papajohns.com Bowls and appeared in the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta and 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowls.
The bowl game will be the eighth of Diaco's coaching career and his first as a head coach. He coached in the Alamo Bowl in 1996 and Sun Bowl in 1997 at Iowa, the Gator Bowl with Virginia in 2007, the Sugar Bowl with Cincinnati in 2009 and the Sun Bowl (2010), the Champs Sports Bowl (2011) and BCS National Championship Game (2012) with Notre Dame. Notre Dame also played in the Pinstripe Bowl in 2013 following Diaco being named the head coach at UConn. As a player at Iowa, he took part in the 1993 Alamo Bowl and the 1995 Sun Bowl.
"We have a very good matchup this year with UConn, a program on the rise that just knocked off undefeated Houston, and Marshall is one win away from notching its third consecutive 10-win season," said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Bowl. "Surprisingly this is the first time that UConn is playing a bowl game in Florida so we hope to see many of their fans make the trip to take advantage of our tropical weather and bowl week events. We enjoyed hosting Marshall in 2011 and look forward to having them back again this year and seeing lots of Thundering Herd fans in St. Petersburg."
Marshall is a member of Conference USA and had a 9-3 record during the regular season and a 6-2 mark in league play. The Thundering Herd opened the season with a win over Purdue of the Big Ten Conference and had a seven-game winning streak midway through the season. Doc Holliday is in his sixth season as the head coach at Marshall.
The St. Petersburg Bowl is played at Tropicana Field, the home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. UConn has had success at the stadium as the Husky men's basketball team won the 1999 NCAA Final Four in the building.
The St. Petersburg Bowl originated in 2008 and the Huskies are making their first appearance in the game. Marshall played in the game in 2011 and defeated FIU by a 20-10 score. Last season, North Carolina State defeated UCF in the game by a 34-27 score.