Louisville to Belk Bowl


Louisville will face NC State in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 27.

The Cardinals tied West Virginia and Cincinnati for a share of the Big East title with 5-2 league records, but West Virginia broke the three-way tie with a higher BCS ranking. The Cardinals defeated the Mountaineers earlier in the year in Morgantown, 38-35, but dropped a 25-16 decision at Cincinnati.

“We are thrilled to accept an invitation to the Belk Bowl,” coach Charlie Strong said in a statement. “Charlotte is a great city, and I’m so excited to take this team to another great bowl game. I’m so proud of our football team and coaching staff to be 2-4 earlier this season and end the year by winning five of the last six games and become Big East champions. We have fought through a lot of adversity this year and to end the year with a high-quality bowl game versus a tough opponent like NC State is a great way to end the year.”

The Cardinals finished the regular season 7-5 overall. However, Louisville heads into postseason play as one of the hottest teams in the country, ending the season 5-1.

Louisville and the Wolfpack will be meeting for the fourth time in series history, with Louisville holding a 3-0 advantage. Louisville defeated the NC State, 27-10, in the last meeting, 2007, at Carter Finley Stadium.

Louisville is making its 16th postseason trip and second straight under Strong, who is 13-11 in his first two seasons at the helm of the program. Louisville defeated Southern Miss, 31-28, in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl a year ago.

All-time, the Cardinals are 7-7-1 in postseason play and have won their past two contests.