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Eastern Michigan to take on Liberty in the 2021 LendingTree Bowl

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The Eagles face the fire against the Flames with a few program milestones still in play.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Ohio at Eastern Michigan Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Eagles (7-5, 4-4 Mid-American Conference) fly south to take on the Liberty Flames (7-5 Independent) with the opportunity to accomplish two things the EMU program has not done since 1987: win a bowl win and complete an eight-plus win season.

EMU has been close to reaching both milestones recently, when they finished with seven wins in 2016 and 2018, having a chance for eight wins but seasons, but ultimately suffering close losses in the 2016 Bahamas Bowl (24-20 to Old Dominion) and the 2018 Camellia Bowl (23-21 to Georgia Southern).

The Eagles’ last bowl win was in the 1987 California Bowl, a 30-27 victory over San Jose State.

Eastern Michigan heads into this one with some high-quality wins on its resume versus MAC contenders in 2021, including 52-49 versus Toledo, 22-21 versus Western Michigan, and 13-12 versus Miami, OH.

Fans may know the game by the names it has had over the years including the Dollar General Bowl, GoDaddy Bowl, GMAC Bowl, and Mobile Alabama Bowl. But whatever the name, the games featured some exciting performances like in 2001, when then MAC squad Marshall Thundering Herd erased a 30-point halftime deficit to beat the East Carolina Pirates in double overtime 64-61.

For the first time in its 23-year history, the game will be played at different site than Ladd-Peebles Stadium, moving to the recently-minted Hancock Whitney Stadium, which opened in 2020 and is home to South Alabama football.

The game can be seen on ESPN and is set to kickoff at 5:45 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, Dec. 18th.