BOCA RATON, FL. – Conference USA Champion FAU will take on American Athletic Conference’s SMU in the sixth annual Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. The game will feature two of the nation’s top scoring teams, each with 10 wins this season.
The game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3:30 p.m. ET at FAU Stadium. It will air on ABC and ESPN Radio, as well as locally on ESPN 106.3 FM.
“We may need to hire a backup scoreboard operator for this game,” said Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl executive director Doug Mosley. “The offenses will likely be putting up big numbers. Both teams are exciting to watch and make for a highly anticipated matchup.”
SMU (10-2), led by head coach Sonny Dykes, posted its most wins since 1984 and its sixth 10-win season in program history. The Mustangs won all six home games this season, marking the first time SMU has won every home game since 1968 (4-0 at the Cotton Bowl) and the first time to win every home game on campus since 1939 (5-0 at Ownby Stadium). SMU only lost by one score in its two losses on the road. SMU is ranked sixth in NCAA scoring offense, averaging 43.0 points per game.
FAU (10-3) will be the sixth conference champion to play in the sixth-year history of the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. FAU is ranked 16 in NCAA scoring offense, averaging 35.2 points per game. The Owls won the 2019 CUSA football championship and earned their second CUSA title on Saturday against UAB. The 49-6 win was the largest margin of victory in CUSA title game history.
After five years being played on the Tuesday night before Christmas and aired on ESPN, the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl will kick off for the first time in the afternoon (3:30 p.m.) live on ABC.
“We’ll be playing in the bright Florida sunshine,” said Mosley. “We’re excited about moving to the weekend this year and kicking off in the afternoon.”
The game debuted in 2014 and has been well received in the community through its first five years. It has twice held the distinction of matching up two conference champions – Marshall University vs. Northern Illinois University (2014), and UAB vs. Northern Illinois (2018). In all, six conference champions and another three conference division champions have played in the game. Among the bowl’s alumni who have moved on to the NFL are current Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (FAU, 2017) and Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (Memphis, 2016). Eleven Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl alumni were selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Media members wishing to participate in the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl Head Coaches Teleconference beginning at 5p.m. this evening should dial toll-free (877) 290-0784. Once connected, enter the Conference ID 6846838659, followed by #. Media members should plan to call in at 4:50 p.m.
The Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl is currently accepting media credential applications. until Friday, Dec. 13. Media can access the application by visiting https://www.cheribundibocaratonbowl.com/credentials/.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 16 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.