Marshall Accepts Conference USA spot in 2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Marshall, led by a big-play offense and an opportunistic defense, is headed to the 2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg as the Conference USArepresentative after accepting a bid. The Thundering Herd will face FIU in the fourth edition of the ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, owned bowl game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. On Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

“Marshall football has a storied tradition dating back to 1895 and the program appears back on the rise,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg. “We are excited to welcome the Thundering Herd to our game for the first time and are looking forward to an excellent matchup.”

“We are thrilled to take part in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl,” said Mike Hamrick, Director of Athletics at Marshall. “The team will get two weeks of additional practice, along with gaining valuable national television exposure. Marshall University has a significant alumni contingent in, not only the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, but the entire state of Florida. The prospect of showcasing Herd Football to that region is exciting.”

Marshall is led by head coach Doc Holliday, who returns to the Sunshine State after serving as an assistant coach for the University of Florida under Urban Meyer from 2005-07. Holliday was the associate head coach at Florida when the Gators won the 2006 National Championship.

“I want to thank the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl staff, President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, AD Mike Hamrick and the Conference USA staff for the opportunity to play in this game,” said Holliday.  “We are excited to bring our program to the great state of Florida, which is home to over 30 of our current players and many future prospects.”

Marshall’s defense is led by senior defensive stalwart Vinny Curry, a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award, as the nation’s top defensive end, as well as candidate for theBronko Nagurski Trophy (nation’s best defensive player), the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation’s best defensive player) and the Rotary Lombardi Award (nation’s best lineman). Curry ranks second nationally this season with 21.5 tackles for loss, tied for second nationally with six forced fumbles and tied for fifth with 11 sacks. His 48.0 career tackles for loss is also tops among all active FBS student-athletes, while his 26.5 sacks rank him seventh.

Thundering Herd junior wide receiver Aaron Dobson led the team with 10 receiving touchdowns this season, while the running back tandem of Tron Martinez (591 rushing yards, 3 TDs) and Travon Van (529 rushing yards, 3 TDs) paced the ground attack in 2011.

Marshall (6-6, 5-3) has played the 12th-toughest schedule in the nation, according to the GBE College Football Ratings. Marshall won a program-record five Conference USA games and finished second in the league’s East Division. The Thundering Herd will be making the 10th bowl appearance in school history and first since 2009, when they posted a 21-17 victory over Ohio in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit.

Tickets for the 2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg are on sale now and start as low as just $35. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster atwww.ticketmaster.comor by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Fans can enjoy the pregame pageantry in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl Bud Light Lounge, the only on-field hospitality village in all of professional or college football. Fans can sit right behind the team bench and hear all of the hard- hitting action. It will be the only Beef ‘O’ Brady’s location where you can literally be in the huddle and still enjoy all the food and beverage any fan would want. For tickets in the Bud Light Lounge, fans may contact Carlos Padilla at 727-290-9865 for more information.

About Beef ‘O’ Brady’s
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is a fast-growing national chain of family sports pubs that achieves its success by building relationships with the local schools, youth sports leagues, and other community organizations in each and every Beef ‘O’ Brady’s neighborhood market. The “kid appeal” of this unique concept is reinforced by a very moderately priced kids menu and video games. Ironically, despite what the name implies, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is actually best known for its Buffalo-style chicken wings. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s has more than 260 open restaurants throughout the Southeast and the Midwest. Visitwww.beefobradys.comfor more information.

ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming,ESPN Regional Television(ERT) annually produces more than 1,200 sporting events. Content includes action from NCAA football, basketball and Olympic sports, NHRA and professional and amateur golf, accounting for more than 3,400 live and/or original hours of programming. ERT’s owned and operated events reach over a million fans a year and provides more than 200 additional hours of programming.

In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters forESPNU; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (SEC,BIG EAST,Big 12,Mid-American,WAC) and manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events:
Collegiate Football
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg;Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl(Dallas-Fort Worth);BBVA Compass Bowl(Birmingham, Ala.);MAACO Bowl Las Vegas;Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque);Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl(Honolulu);Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas(Houston);MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney(Orlando, Fla.) andThe Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards
Collegiate Basketball
76 Classic(Anaheim, Calif.);State Farm Champions Classic(Madison Square Garden; debuts 2011);DIRECTV Charleston Classic presented by Foster Grant(S.C.);Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic(Honolulu);Old Spice Classic(Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.);5-hour ENERGY Puerto Rico Tip-Off(San Juan);All-College Basketball Classic(Oklahoma City) andSears BracketBusters
Collegiate Lacrosse
ESPNU Warrior Classic
Additional Events
Hawaiian Islands Invitational(Soccer) andESPN National Golf Challenge

For more information, visitESPNPlus.com.

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Media Contacts:
Jeffrey Kamis, Trifecta Team, jeff@trifectateam.comor 813-784-3642
Rachel Margolis, ESPN at rachel.l.margolis@espn.comor 860-766-2798


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