James Madison, Old Dominion ready to go bowling

James Madison wide receiver Elijah Sarratt runs for a touchdown against Coastal Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Conway, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond) (Nell Redmond, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va. – James Madison football will make its bowl season debut in Fort Worth, Texas, when it faces off against Air Force in the 2023 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 23.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. CT) from Amon G. Carter Stadium, and the game will be nationally televised on ABC.

Recommended Videos

In addition, Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne announced that Damian Wroblewski will serve as the acting head coach for the bowl game.

“Every member of our football program is honored and excited to represent JMU in its first ever bowl game,” Wroblewski said. “We understand the unusual circumstances that we are in, and that only makes us smile even more. From Coach Challace McMillin recruiting young men in registration lines to begin the program over 50 years ago to today, we say thank you and will make JMU Nation proud. We now have a destination. It’s time to hone our focus on the process of preparation and daily excellence. We’ll see you in Fort Worth. Go Dukes!”

“We’re excited for James Madison’s first bowl appearance and looking forward to the Texas hospitality and an exciting matchup with a tough Air Force squad,” Bourne said. “In addition, I’m excited to announce Damien Wroblewski as our acting head coach to lead the Dukes into this bowl game. Our student-athletes have been through a lot over the last week, and he will be a strong, unifying presence of stability for them. Our student-athletes have shared their full support for him as their coach. I’m confident in Wrobo’s ability to lead our team and excited for him to have this opportunity. See you in Texas, JMU Nation!”

JMU becomes just the fifth top-25 team to play in the Armed Forces Bowl, which is now in its 21st edition.

JMU completed its second year in the FBS with an 11-1 overall record with a 7-1 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. The Dukes finished alone atop the Sun Belt East Division for the first time after finishing tied for first a season ago.

The Dukes became the first transitioning team ever to win 10 games against FBS opponents in a single season and led the nation with both eight wins over bowl-eligible teams and a 6-0 true road record during the regular season.

JMU has been ranked in the AP Top 25 in every poll since Oct. 22 and began the season winning 10 straight matchups.

Old Dominion University Football will play Western Kentucky in the Famous Toastery Bowl on Monday, Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in Charlotte, North Carolina and will be broadcast on ESPN. The game will be played at Jerry Richardson Stadium on the campus of UNC Charlotte. The bowl game is the second for ODU in three years under head coach Ricky Rahne.

FILE - Old Dominion linebacker Jason Henderson (42) celebrates after a tackle during an NCAA college football game on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Norfolk, Va. Henderson has been selected to The Associated Press midseason All-America team, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Mike Caudill, File) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Old Dominion is 6-6 overall on the year and 5-3 in the rugged Sun Belt Conference, where a record 12 teams are bowl eligible, including the entire east division. The Monarchs knocked off Georgia Southern and Georgia State the final two weeks of the season to gain bowl eligibility. ODU won contests on the final play of the game. At Georgia Southern, Ethan Sanchez kicked a 22-yard field goal and against Georgia State Grant Wilson scored from two-yards out.

Recommended Videos