The Miami RedHawks (11-2, 8-1 Mid-American Conference) are headed to Orlando, Florida to play the Appalachian State Mountaineers (8-5, 6-2 Sun Belt Conference) in the 2023 Cure Bowl on Saturday, December 16th.
The news was first reported by the App State Football account.
Miami has just under two weeks to prepare for their bowl game after upsetting Toledo in the MAC Championship Game. Chuck Martin and the RedHawks will be looking for the program's seventh bowl win in their history. The Cure Bowl is Miami’s third consecutive season heading to a bowl game (excluding 2020 due to mitigating circumstances.) Miami only played three games in that season and the postseason was complicated outside of the College Football Playoff.
Martin coached Miami to a win in the 2021 Frisco Football Classic 27-14 over North Texas. A Cure Bowl win would be his second as the RedHawks head coach and an exclamation point on what would be a 12-win season.
Miami will have their hands full with an App State team on a major rebound in the back half of their schedule.
The Mountaineers were 3-4 after seven games, a record that is unacceptable for that program. Since that point, they have ripped off five consecutive wins, including a win on the road over James Madison. The Dukes were undefeated entering the game and ineligible for the Sun Belt Championship Game and the postseason, unless teams were needed to fill all of the bowl games.
App State represented the Sun Belt East in the championship game due to NCAA regulations disqualifying JMU from championship games. Troy running back Kimani Vidal ran all over the Mountaineer defense, including five touchdowns, on the way to the conference championship. Troy’s defense is a top-30 unit in FBS per ESPN’s SP+ and suffocated the App State offense as they have done to their opponents all year.
Miami’s defense by the same metric is 14th in the nation.
The Cure Bowl has been decided by one possession or less in the last four games, often with ranked teams playing. The 2021 Cure Bowl was between Coastal Carolina and the Northern Illinois Huskies with Coastal winning a 47-41 shootout.
Coastal quarterback Grayson McCall threw for 315 yards and four touchdowns, two in the fourth quarter to take the lead and the win. The Huskies attempted to convert a 4th and 1 from their own 34-yard line and failed. A play later Coastal Carolina took the lead on a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Miami hopes their defense will dominate another game and avoid the fate of the 2021 Northern Illinois Huskies against a Sun Belt foe.
The MAC Champions will play the Sun Belt runner-ups in the Bowl Season’s third matchup on Saturday, December 16th, at 3:30 pm Eastern time at FBC Mortgage Stadium, home to the UCF Knights.
The game will be nationally broadcast on ABC.