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Bowl Preview: Meineke Bowl

by Ryan Hudson

Meineke Car Care Bowl

 

Date: Dec. 29, 1:00pm
Site: Charlotte, NC
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium

Teams: Connecticut Huskies (9-3) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-4)

Betting Line: Wake Forest is favored by 2 points.

Brief History: If you build it, they will come. Hosting a major college football bowl game in Charlotte was not possible before 1996, as a large, first-class facility was not available. That all changed with the opening of Bank of America Stadium, home to the Carolina Panthers. After much effort, Raycom Sports finally landed NCAA approval to host a bowl game, beginning in 2002 (when it was then known as The Continental Tire Bowl).

Fun Fact: In 2003, while the QB at Virginia, Matt Schaub led the Cavaliers over Pittsburgh, 23-16, to earn the Jerry Richardson Most Valuable Player Award

Notable Schwag for the Players: Garmin portable GPS, Fossil watch, Armor-Gear laptop bag and Cap. I think I'd be most excited about "Cap."

Preview: This is a battle of two up-and-coming programs. One is over 100-years old, and the other has been part of the FBS Championship for just six years, but both are just now finding some success. UConn earned its first-ever victory against a ranked team, 22-15 over then-No. 11 South Florida, to enter the Top 25 for the first time. The Huskies peaked at No. 16 before falling out of the ranking after a 66-21 loss at then-No. 4 West Virginia, the team it tied for the conference title.

Wake Forest, the smallest school in the FBS, finished 2007 with an 8-4 record, a year after they went 11-3 and won the ACC title. This season marked only the fifth time in the program's 106-year history that it has won at least eight games. After winning eight of their first nine game, UConn enters today's bowl having lost two of their past three.