Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021
MOBILE, Ala. – Liberty and Eastern Michigan set to meet in the 23rd annual LendingTree Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 4:45 p.m., CT on ESPN. The game will be played for the first time at the new state-of-the-art Hancock-Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
Liberty (7-5) is the first FBS Independent team to play in the LendingTree Bowl. The Flames will join Conference USA in the 2023-24 academic year. Liberty is making its first LendingTree Bowl appearance.
Eastern Michigan (7-5) is one of eight bowl eligible teams from the Mid-American Conference. All six teams in the MAC West Division finished with .500 record or better. Eastern Michigan is playing in the LendingTree Bowl for the first time and becomes the 10th different MAC team to play in Mobile.
“We are excited to bring two first-time teams to the LendingTree Bowl,” President Jerry Silverstein said. “Liberty and Eastern Michigan play an exciting brand of football and this will be great matchup between two teams that have been very successful over the last five years.”
Liberty is making its third bowl appearance in just its third full season at the FBS level under head coach Hugh Freeze. The Flames have played in the Cure Bowl each of the last two seasons. Liberty defeated Georgia Southern 23-16 in 2019 and knocked off No. 9 Coastal Carolina 37-34 last year.
“Liberty is honored and grateful to be invited to participate in the 2021 LendingTree Bowl,” said Liberty AD Ian McCaw. “We look forward to a strong showing from Flames Nation in Mobile as we have a large alumni base in Alabama and the Southeast.”
The Eagles will play in their fourth bowl game in the previous six seasons. Prior to 2016, Eastern had reached bowl eligibility just twice in its history and had earned the opportunity to play in a postseason bowl just once (1987 California Bowl). Additionally, Eastern earned bowl eligibility for the third consecutive season in 2021 (excluding COVID-shortened 2020 season), the first such occurrence in program history.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our program to represent this university on a national stage,” said EMU Vice President/Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee. “I have heard fantastic things about the LendingTree Bowl and the hospitality they show the visiting teams. I hope we have a bunch of Eastern fans who can get to a great destination spot and support our team.”
For more information about the LendingTree Bowl, ticket information and more, visit lendingtreebowl.com, or call the LendingTree Bowl office (251-635-0011).