Coastal celebrates TD over BYU

Reese White celebrates a touchdown that gave CCU a 13-6 lead in the second quarter. Coastal would go on to win 22-17. Photo by Ian Livingston Brooking.

For the first time in program history, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are going bowling.

Coastal will play in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 26. Their opponent? Former Big South rival Liberty, the winner of the 2019 Cure Bowl. 

"We are honored to welcome Coastal Carolina and welcome back last year's Cure Bowl Champion Liberty to the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl," Alan Gooch, FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl executive director and Orlando Sports Foundation CEO, said in a statement.

The 2020 Cure Bowl will be the first-ever matchup between ranked opponents in the bowl game's history. Coastal Carolina comes in at No. 9 in the AP and Liberty is currently ranked 23rd.

This will be the first time Coastal has made the postseason in football since playing in the first round of the FCS playoffs in 2015. After getting so close the last two seasons, including coming within one game of securing bowl eligibility, the announcement Sunday is a boost for Teal Nation. 

"When our university made the choice to join the elite of college football, obviously a primary goal was to play in a postseason bowl game," Coastal Carolina Athletics Director Matt Hogue said.

Hogue added that he and the program are "thrilled to commemorate" this milestone with a trip to the Sunshine State.

Coastal coach Jamey Chadwell shares the same sentiments as his AD.

"We are excited to make history with our program's first-ever bowl appearance at the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. As the Sun Belt Conference Champions, our team is excited to represent our conference once again on a national level," Chadwell said. "Our team, coaches and staff have worked tirelessly during this unprecedented time with COVID-19 and are deserving of this opportunity. It has been a magical season this year and we look forward to this next opportunity in such a well-respected bowl that supports a great cause in the great city of Orlando." 

The matchup between the Chants and the Flames will be the first since 2016, the Chants final year as an FCS program. Coastal Carolina won that matchup 42-7, evening the series at seven wins each.

Coastal and Liberty were supposed to play each other in Conway at Brooks Stadium on Dec. 5. The renewal of the rivalry also brought ESPN's popular show "College GameDay" to Conway for the first time. 

But COVID-19 issues within the Liberty football program forced the cancellation of the game less than four days before kickoff. Coastal played No. 8 BYU instead, winning 22-17.

The 2020 Cure Bowl is set to kickoff at noon at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The game will be televised on ESPN.

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