After plenty of speculation that had this 2019 Tar Heel team slated to head anywhere from The Bronx to El Paso, the bowl game is officially set as of Sunday afternoon.
The Tar Heels will be heading to Annapolis, MD to face the Temple Owls of the American Conference in the Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman. This draw is much better than the one that was originally predicted for this matchup, which was to face Navy in their home stadium according to most projections slating the Tar Heels in the Military Bowl. Instead, the Heels will face a Temple team that survived a wild offseason to finish 8-4 in a brutal American conference.
The Owls defense will provide a test for this budding Tar Heels, including a tough matchup for the offensive line that has progressed as the season has gone along. The matchup for the Tar Heel defense is one of the more favorable ones they could’ve received, as the Owls offense averages 402.0 yards of offense per game, but is converting just 75.0% of their chances in the red zone.
This will be the first ever meeting between the Tar Heels and the Owls and will also be the first time that Mack Brown will face the Owls in his 30-year head coaching career. The Tar Heels will be searching for their first bowl win since 2013’s Belk Bowl win over Cincinnati as they look to end a three game bowl losing streak. In Mack Brown’s first time around in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels were 3-1 in bowl games, the only loss coming in the 1993 Gator Bowl to Alabama.
The game will kickoff at Noon on December 27th on ESPN from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Field in Annapolis. The game will also be broadcast live on the Tar Heels Sports Network and ESPN Radio.