The 13th annual Military Bowl in Annapolis pits an offensive powerhouse against a ball-hawking defense.
The University of Central Florida laces it up with the Duke University Blue Devils on Dec. 28, and PlayMaryland has everything you need to know before heading to the game.
Maryland eager for 2022 Military Bowl
For the first time, Marylanders will be able to bet on the Military Bowl — both online and at in-person sportsbooks. Maryland online sports betting kicked off on Nov. 23. And while Maryland bettors would have been able to bet on the game last year at a retail sportsbook, the game itself was canceled on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s game takes place at 2 p.m. EST at Maryland’s very own Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (or on ESPN if you’re watching from your couch).
Steve Beck, Military Bowl Foundation president and executive director, said he’s excited about the teams chosen for the Military Bowl this year.
“What an exciting matchup! UCF has been nationally ranked for the past month and advanced to the American Athletic Conference championship game, while Duke certainly is on the rise led by Coach Mike Elko, the ACC Coach of the Year in his first season leading the Blue Devils. We look forward to another great Bowl Week in Washington, D.C., and a sensational gameday in Annapolis.”
Attending the 2022 Military Bowl in person
Military Bowl tickets can still be found for anywhere between $40 and $100, plus taxes and fees.
Parking passes can also be purchased: $40 for regular parking and $100 for RV parking.
The stadium is located inside the Navy-Marine Corps military base. As a result, there are some important things to note before heading to the game.
Blue Devils boast 4th-best turnover margin in college football
It’s been four years since the Duke University Blue Devils have been in a bowl game. The Duke Blue Devils were 8-4 this season. Their last appearance in a bowl game was in 2018, when, led by current New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, they throttled Temple, 56-27, in the Independence Bowl.
This season, the Blue Devils played consistent and mistake-free offensive football and created valuable turnovers on defense. Duke forced 22 turnovers, the 14th-best in the country. They also committed just nine turnovers, sixth in the Football Bowl Series (FBS). Their +13 turnover margin was fourth-best in college football.
Nine Duke players received All-Conference honors, including All-ACC first team offensive tackle Graham Barton and also quarterback Riley Leonard, who was an honorable mention. Elko was ACC Coach of the Year.
UCF beat two top-25 teams down the stretch
The University of Central Florida Knights are No. 22 in the nation and seemingly make bowl games every year. UCF went 9-4 in 2022. They closed the season in impressive fashion, beating the University of Tulane and also the University of Cincinnati – two foes both ranked in the top-25 – to lock in their seventh consecutive bowl bid. Their offensive attack is what has led to their success.
The Knights’ 480.2 yards per game ranks 11th in the FBS and is carried by their run game, which averaged 235.7 yards per game, eighth-best in the FBS. Their passing game is no slouch, though. It features wide receiver Ryan O’Keefe, named All-ACC first team for a second year in a row. Like Duke, nine UCF players received All-Conference honors.
Coach Gus Malzahn hopes his team can replicate its performance in last year’s Gasparilla Bowl, when the Knights shocked the University of Florida, 29-17.
“Last year we gained great momentum for our UCF program with our bowl win over Florida. Our goal is to do the same thing this year in the Military Bowl against a very good Duke team.”
Military Bowl benefits military service members
Sponsored by technology company Peraton, the Military Bowl benefits United Service Organizations. USO provides entertainment, social events and more for the US military in countries across the globe.
The game also contributes to the Military Bowl Foundation, which operates and hosts events to benefit service members all across the county. The Military Bowl Foundation runs the DC Touchdown Club, which provides honors to the best high school and college football players in the Washington D.C. area.
The DC Touchdown Club operates Patriot Point, the third and final beneficiary of the Military Bowl Foundation. Patriot Point is a 294-acre property that serves as a retreat for wounded, ill and injured service members, their families and their caregivers.
With all these valuable programs associated, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing a good deed while attending the Military Bowl.