Coastal Football to Return to the Cure Bowl, will face Northern Illinois

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Coastal Carolina football team will return to the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl, as the Chanticleers will take on Northern Illinois (9-4, 6-2 MAC) on Friday, Dec. 17, at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

“On behalf of the Orlando Sports Foundation, we are honored to welcome Coastal Carolina and Northern Illinois to the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl,” stated Alan Gooch, Orlando Sports Foundation CEO and Tailgreeter Cure Bowl Executive Director. “Gameday is going to be special as college football fans, cancer survivors and supporters, both team’s bands, and the Orlando Community come together at Church Street Station for the March 2 Cure before heading to Exploria Stadium to watch the Chanticleers compete against the Huskies.”

“The Cure Bowl’s mission has always been about bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer. Coastal Carolina and Northern Illinois will carry on our tradition of raising awareness for cancer research,” commented Jim Warmus, Orlando Sports Foundation President.

Coastal made the program’s first-ever bowl appearance last season at the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl, falling to No. 23 Liberty in overtime, 37-34. It was the Chanticleers’ only loss of the 2020 season.

“We are excited for the opportunity to play in the Cure Bowl. This game and the venue in Orlando will offer our student-athletes a top-flight bowl experience, which everyone is looking forward to this season after the challenges of 2020,” stated Matt Hogue, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and University Recreation. “We appreciate Executive Director Alan Gooch, ESPN Events, the Orlando Sports Foundation, and the entire Cure Bowl organization for the chance to showcase our program on the opening night of bowl season.”

“We are excited to be returning to the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl this season, the same place we made history last year with our program’s first-ever postseason bowl appearance. Our team is excited to represent our conference once again on a national level, and to play on the field together as a team one more time this season,” commented Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina Head Football Coach. “Other than the outcome, we enjoyed our time in Orlando at the Cure Bowl last year. And this year, I’m so excited that our players, coaches, and staff will get the opportunity to experience the full bowl experience after not getting the chance last year due to COVID-19. We are excited, ready to get back to work, and looking forward to this next opportunity in a highly-regarded bowl that supports a great cause in the great city of Orlando.”

The Chanticleers were ranked nationally for 11-straight weeks this season in both the Associated Press (AP) and USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches polls. CCU also set a Sun Belt Conference record by being ranked in both top-25 national polls for a total of 22 consecutive weeks dating back to the 2020 season.

CCU is 10-2 overall this year and finished 6-2 in Sun Belt Conference regular-season play. The Chanticleers also have a Power 5 win over Kansas of the Big 12 Conference.

Northern Illinois is 9-4 overall on the year, which includes a season-opening road win at Georgia Tech out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and went 6-2 in Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular-season play to win the MAC West Division title. The Huskies won the 2021 MAC Championship title with a 41-23 win over Kent State on Championship Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.

The seventh annual Tailgreeter Cure Bowl is the second bowl appearance in Coastal Carolina program history and will mark just the second neutral site game for the Chanticleers in the program’s 19-year history.

The meeting will be the first between the two teams on the gridiron.

However, Coastal is 1-3 all-time versus teams from the MAC, including a 28-25 road win this year at Buffalo (Sept. 18).

The Cure Bowl, one of the 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, is one of many fundraising events hosted by the Orlando Sports Foundation that supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and other cancer organizations. Over $3.88 million has been raised since 2015. Local Orlando researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine has been vetted by BCRF and received $1.2 million from the funds donated.

The March 2 Cure is a pregame block party starting at 2 p.m. ET at Church Street Station. The event will be highlighted by a cancer tribute march featuring the team bands, dignitaries, cancer survivors, cancer supporters, and the Orlando community walking together in a cloud of pink smoke to Exploria Stadium.

Categories: Local Sports, South Carolina Sports, Sports