We’ve known for some time the matchup set to take place at Nassau’s Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, but Selection Sunday made it officially official, as the Miami RedHawks (6-6, 4-4 MAC East) will take on Conference USA’s UAB Blazers (6-6, 4-4- C-USA) in the 2022 edition of the Bahamas Bowl.
This marks Miami’s first time participating in the postseason’s only international bowl game on offer, while this will be UAB’s second appearance.
The Blazers lost their first time around, getting trounced by Ohio 41-6 in 2017. That was an important year for UAB, which saw their program re-kindled after getting shut down a few years prior, with the Blazers emerging 8-4 in their first campaign back in FBS play. It was also their first bowl appearance since 2004, breaking a 13-year streak.
Miami comes into this contest thanks to a stunning last-second victory over Ball State to clinch their sixth victory in a do-or-die game for a bowl bid on weeknight television. This will be their second-straight bowl appearance, with their last bowl bid resulting in an entertaining 27-14 win over Conference USA’s North Texas in the hastily-constructed Frisco Football Classic.
UAB, meanwhile, is coming off a rousing win in the rain over Louisiana Tech on Saturday, claiming their sixth win by a final score of 37-27. Their last bowl game was in the 2021 Independence Bowl vs. a thirteenth-ranked BYU, which they won 31-28.
There will be a lot of intrigue surrounding the program, as the university recently hired former ESPN analyst and high school prep coach Trent Dilfer to replace the outgoing duo of Bill Clark and Bryant Vincent. Dilfer’s tenure as coach started on Dec. 1st, but it is likely Vincent (who was named interim coach due to Clark’s medical retirement) who will lead the team onto the field.
The game itself, the first of the Bowl Season, is set to kick-off at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, Dec. 16, with a national broadcast on ESPN.