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Twenty-four hours after a 27-17 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Middle Tennessee State accepted a bid to play Toledo in the Bahamas Bowl.

The game is scheduled for Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. CST at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. To be broadcast on ESPN, it will be the first bowl game of the 2021 post-season.

The contest will mark the 13th bowl game in school history and the ninth under head coach Rick Stockstill, who has a 2-6 record in bowl games. MTSU’s last bowl game was a 45-13 loss to Appalachian State in the 2018 New Orleans Bowl.

"We are honored to be representing Conference USA in the Bahamas Bowl," Stockstill said in a release. "I am thrilled for this team and especially our senior class. This is a tremendous award for a team who has overcome a ton of adversity this season. We can't wait to get there."

The Blue Raiders (6-6) finished fourth in Conference USA’s East Division with wins in four of their last six games. Toledo (7-5) finished third in the Mid-American Conference’s West Division. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Toledo, which is making its fourth bowl appearance in six years under head coach Jason Candle, has statistically the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense in the MAC. The Rockets average 34.2 points per game offensively and allow just 21 points. 

The Rockets’ offense runs through tailback Bryant Koback, whose 1,274 yards rushing ranks second in the conference. In addition, Koback is tied for the MAC lead with 15 rushing touchdowns.

MTSU has just four bowl wins in program history: the 1959 Tangerine Bowl, the 1964 Grantland Rice Bowl, the 2009 New Orleans Bowl and the 2017 Camellia Bowl.

"On behalf of our President, Dr. Sidney McPhee, I am honored and above excited about accepting a bowl invitation from the Bahamas Bowl," MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro said. 

“This will be our second trip to the Bahamas Bowl and our experience was second to none at a place that is truly paradise. We can't wait to get there and create memories of a lifetime for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans."

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_

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