Western Kentucky, South Alabama to meet in R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

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New Orleans Bowl midfield

NEW ORLEANS – The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and South Alabama Jaguars accepted invitations today to compete against one another in the 22nd Annual R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Wednesday, December 21 at the Caesars Superdome. The game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. CST and will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

“The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Committee, staff, and volunteers are delighted to welcome the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and South Alabama Jaguars to New Orleans,” said Sheriff Paul Valteau, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Chairman and Executive Committee member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. “This matchup is an incredible opportunity to showcase the hospitality of New Orleans and bring fans from across the country to cheer on their teams. The Committee is looking forward to celebrating the successful seasons of these two teams with their coaches, student-athletes, alumni and fans.”

Western Kentucky, under the guidance of Head Coach Tyson Helton, finished third in the Conference-USA standings with an 8-5 overall record and a 6-2 mark in conference play.

“Our program is excited about the opportunity to compete in this year’s R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl,” Western Kentucky Head Coach Tyson Helton said. This will be a great way for our team to finish a strong season in which they competed at a very high level. This is our program’s ninth bowl game in the last 11 seasons, and we don’t take these opportunities for granted. We look forward to spending time in the historic city of New Orleans and playing in the Superdome, which is one of the country’s premier venues.”

Led by quarterback Austin Reed, the Hilltoppers rank tenth in the nation for total offense. Reed has been named a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist and has thrown for 4,247 yards and 36 touchdowns while completing 64.5 percent of his passes in his inaugural season with the Hilltoppers. The graduate transfer ranks second in the country in passing yards, second in the country in points responsible, and fourth in passing touchdowns.

Under Head Coach Kane Wommack, South Alabama comes to New Orleans with a 10-2 overall record and a 7-1 record in Sun Belt play. In Wommack’s second year as head coach, the Jaguars recorded the most victories in one season since becoming an FBS program in 2012.

“We are so excited to be a part of the New Orleans Bowl,” said South Alabama Head Coach Kane Wommack. “This is a game that has great prestige in the college football landscape. It is a game that I got the opportunity to play in as a player, and that was a special thing to be a part of that, and now to bring a team that has worked so hard to get to 10-2 and represent the Sun Belt Conference is an awesome accomplishment for this program. It is certainly something that our community, fan base, and university are all excited to participate in.”

The South Alabama offense averaged 31.9 points per game with support from junior running back La’Damian Webb who was one of two Jaguars to be named to the All-Sun Belt Conference football first-team. Webb has rushed for 1,014 yards and 13 touchdowns in 11 games this season and ranks second in the conference in yards per game (92.3).

This will be both teams’ first appearance in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

For more information on the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, visit www.neworleansbowl.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @NewOrleansBowl. To apply for a media credential, please click HERE.

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