ORLANDO, Fla. – Over the past 25 years, the Russell Athletic Bowl has seen some pretty spectacular performances.
While many fans are hoping their team pulls off a win, others simply want to see a well-played game.
Even though the bowl game, now known as the Russell Athletic Bowl, has only been around for 25 years, it has seen its fair share of close games and record-setting performances.
In 1994, Boston College destroyed Virginia by racking up 557 total yards. Quarterback Glenn Foley set eight bowl game records after passing for 391 yards and three touchdowns.
Boston College won 31 to 13.
The next year, fans were again treated to a stellar matchup. South Carolina won its first bowl game in school history in the ‘Carquest Bowl,’ defeating West Virginia. South Carolina won the game 24 to 21.
In 1998, Miami shined on both sides of the ball while taking on NC State. Miami’s offense set a new team bowl record with 594 yards and six touchdowns.
The Hurricanes’ defense also picked off five NC State passes, which set another bowl record. Miami won 46 to 23.
Just two years later, NC State was back and was determined not to lose again. The Wolfpack was led by quarterback Phillip Rivers, who brought the team back from a 24 point deficit to take the lead. Rivers threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns.
NC State won the ‘MicronPC.com Bowl’ 38 to 30 by defeating Minnesota.
In 2003, Phillip Rivers was back and topped his previous performance with his refined abilities in the ‘Mazda Tangerine Bowl.’ He passed for 475 yards and five touchdowns to lead NC State to a 56 to 26 win over Kansas.
During the game, Rivers hit 82.2 percent of his passes while setting records for yardage and touchdown passes. In all, the Wolfpack had 653 yards of total offense against the Jayhawk defense.
In 2007, Boston College extended the nation’s longest bowl winning streak to eight with a 24 to 21 win over Michigan State in the ‘Champs Sports Bowl.’ Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 249 yards and three touchdown passes in the game. The Eagles’ defense recorded four interceptions, sealing the win late in the fourth quarter.
Over the last 25 years, NC State has been to this bowl game five times, winning three games and losing two.
Miami, West Virginia, Virginia and Clemson are all close behind in their number of appearances.
The 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl will put on a show on Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
The game will be televised on ESPN.