JONESBORO, Ark. (12/3/23) – The Arkansas State Athletics Department announced Sunday that the Red Wolves have accepted an official invitation to play in the 2023 Camellia Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 11:00 a.m. (CT).
Making its first bowl-game appearance since 2019, the Red Wolves will face Mid-American Conference (MAC) member Northern Illinois at Cramton Bowl stadium in Montgomery, Ala., in a contest set to be televised by ESPN.
Completing the regular season with a 6-6 overall record, A-State is one of just seven FBS teams in the country that won three or fewer games last year and will play in a bowl game this year. The Red Wolves also tied for second place in the Sun Belt’s West Division with a 4-4 league record after being picked to finish sixth in the conference’s preseason poll.
Arkansas State completed the regular season by winning six of its last 10 games. The Red Wolves had one player tabbed Preseason All-Sun Belt, but placed nine student-athletes on the all-conference team that was announced last week. Quarterback Jaylen Raynor was also named the league’s Freshman of the Year.
The Red Wolves will make their 18th all-time bowl appearance (8-8-1 record) and their third at the Camellia Bowl, where it fell to Middle Tennessee in 2017 before defeating Florida International two years later in 2019. Competing in a bowl game for the 10th time over the last 13 seasons (2011-23), A-State will face a MAC opponent in the postseason for the fifth time (2-2 record) over that span.
Northern Illinois completed the regular season with a 6-6 overall record and 5-3 mark in conference action, finishing second in the MAC’s West Division after winning its last two games. The Huskies had five players tabbed All-MAC.
Arkansas State and NIU have met eight times previously dating back to 1990, including once in a bowl game. The last time the two programs met, the Huskies claimed a 38-20 victory at the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Northern Illinois will be the first MAC opponent A-State has faced since playing Toledo in the 2016 season opener.
A-State will hold a bowl-game press conference with head coach Butch Jones and two players Monday, Dec. 4, at the Centennial Bank Athletics Operations Center. The press conference will be streamed on Arkansas State Athletics’ Facebook page (@AStateRedWolves). Including previous stops at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Tennessee, Jones has now led four different programs to nine all-time bowl appearances as a head coach.
This year’s A-State versus NIU matchup will mark the 10th edition of the Camellia Bowl. Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase all tickets to the Camellia Bowl through Arkansas State Athletics. Purchasing tickets directly through A-State provides many benefits, including sitting with other Red Wolves fans, providing direct revenue back to the university athletics programs, making A-State attractive to future bowl organizations and more.
Tickets are currently on sale online and can be purchased by clicking HERE or by visiting AStateRedWolves.com/Bowl Central. Ticket prices range from $30 (Sections N-O, R-S) to $40 (Sections P-Q) on the stadium’s east side, which is where the Arkansas State bench will be located. Premium tickets are priced at $100 and $150. Student ticket information will be available early this week.
Additional information regarding tickets and premium areas may be obtained by e-mailing [email protected] or by contacting the Arkansas State Athletics Department at 870-972-2401.
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A-State Set to Play in 2023 Camellia Bowl, Making First Bowl Appearance Since 2019. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council