ORLANDO, Fla. (CureBowl.com) – The Orlando Sports Foundation (OSF) announced on Sunday that the fourth-annual AutoNation Cure Bowl benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) will be between the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and Tulane Green Wave. Kickoff for the Bayou Battle for a Cure is set for 1:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network on Dec. 15 at Camping World Stadium.
“We are excited to welcome the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and the Tulane Green Wave to the 2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl,” AutoNation Cure Bowl Executive Director Alan Gooch said. “We are looking forward to this Bayou Battle coming to Orlando. The last time these two in-state rivals played was an epic four overtime clash. We are excited that our Bowl Week will have a Louisiana flare.”
Louisiana (7-6, 5-3 Sun Belt Conference) and Tulane (6-6, 4-2 American Athletic Conference) played a grueling four overtime game in 2016, where the Green Wave earned a 44-39 victory on Sept. 24. Tulane holds a 22-4 all-time mark with the series going back to 1911.
“The Cure Bowl is about bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer,” President of the Orlando Sports Foundation Kay Stanney said. “The AutoNation Cure Bowl is more than a game. It is a platform to raise awareness for cancer research and recognize those that have thrived in the fight against cancer.”
The AutoNation Cure Bowl directly supports BCRF, who has received a total of $3.55 million donation from the first three games put on by the OSF. Local researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine has been vetted by BCRF and received $1.1 million from the funds donated.
Tickets start at $25 and are currently on sale at CureBowl.com. Ticket holders will also have access to the AutoNation Pregame Tailgate and Concert, featuring the platinum recording artist Andy Grammer. The gates open for the pregame tailgate at 10:30 a.m. with Andy Grammer taking the stage at 11:30 a.m. for a 75-minute set.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (7-6, 4-2 Sun Belt Conference)
- The Ragin’ Cajuns captured the west division of the Sun Belt with a 31-28 road victory against ULM on Nov. 24.
- Louisiana played in the inaugural Sun Belt Championship Game, but dropped a tough 30-19 decision at Appalachian State on Dec. 1.
- Louisiana is making its eighth bowl appearance and the first outside the Pelican State since the 1944 Oil Boil in Houston, Texas.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns registered non-conference victories against Grambling and New Mexico State before topping Texas State, Arkansas State, Georgia State, South Alabama and ULM.
- Sophomore Running Back Trey Ragas has eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and has tallied 1,167 yards. He is the fifth running back in program history to accomplish the feat.
- Quarterback Andre Nunez is 174-for-270 for 2,136 yards with 19 touchdowns.
- A team high 10 touchdowns have been caught by junior wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley, who has totaled 557 yards on 38 receptions.
“We are extremely excited to participate in the AutoNation Cure Bowl against a quality opponent in Tulane University. To be associated with a prestigious bowl that also serves an important cause in the fight against cancer is a true honor. We’re thrilled for Coach Napier, his staff and our student-athletes, winning the Sun Belt Conference West Division and making a bowl game in his first season leading the Ragin’ Cajuns. An exciting week in Orlando is ahead for our team, alumni and fan base.”
-Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard
“Our Louisiana Football program could not be more excited for this opportunity to play in the AutoNation Cure Bowl. We look forward to the challenge Tulane presents. We’re not finished playing football, and we’re not finished being represented by this outstanding class of seniors. Most importantly, the Cure Bowl stands for more than just football. This is an opportunity for the Ragin’ Cajuns to stand up in the fight against cancer. It’s an honor for our program to be involved in this initiative, and we look forward to doing all we can during our time at the Cure Bowl.”
-Head Coach Billy Napier
Tulane Green Wave (6-6, 4-2 American Athletic Conference)
- Tulane finished with a 5-3 record in the American Athletic Conference and earned a share of the West Division championship. The Green Wave won four of its final five games of the season to earn its bowl eligibility, defeating Tulsa, USF, East Carolina and Navy to finish the regular season at 6-6.
- Tulane enters the Cure Bowl playing in its first bowl game since the 2013 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, where coincidently it played the Ragin’ Cajuns.
- This will be Tulane’s 12th all-time bowl game, and the team holds a 4-7 record in bowl games lifetime. It is the first time Tulane has played in a bowl game outside the state of Louisiana since 2002, when it took part in the Hawaii Bowl.
- Junior running back Darius Bradwell has amassed 1,000 yards on 166 carries, while scoring a team-high nine touchdowns.
- Junior wide receiver Darnell Mooney has made 47 receptions for 987 yards and eight touchdowns.
- Senior quarterback Justin McMillan went 18-for-29 for 291 yards and three touchdowns in the bowl-clinching victory against Navy. He has totaled 1,159 yards and nine touchdowns in eight games played.
- Tulane’s 2018 regular-season slate was the 29th-toughest schedule at the FBS level based on FBS opponent winning percentage. Tulane’s 2018 opponents had a combined winning percentage of .580 and won 76 combined games.
“We are excited to accept an invitation to participate in the 2018 Auto Nation Cure Bowl in Orlando. The Cure Bowl is recognized for the outstanding experience it offers the participating teams, and its location is convenient for our significant fan and alumni bases along the Gold Coast and the Sun Coast. Advancing to the 12th bowl game in our 125 years of football history, and just the fourth in the last three decades is validation of the progress coach Willie Fritz has made in building a competitive foundation for Tulane football. We look forward to continuing to building upon this progress, and setting a standard of bowl eligibility on a consistent basis.”
-Ben Weiner Director of Athletics Troy Dannen
“This will truly be an outstanding opportunity for our young men to compete in a first-class bowl game,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “Orlando is a fantastic city, has a wonderful stadium and our opponent will provide a tremendous challenge. We look forward to our week in Orlando.”
-Head Coach Willie Fritz
About The Orlando Sports Foundation
The Orlando Sports Foundation (OSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising funding and awareness for cancer research. The mission of OSF is to bring teams together to find a cure for cancer. The OSF hosts several events throughout the year including their signature event, the AutoNation Cure Bowl. Funds raised from their events directly benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
About the Breast Cancer Research Foundation
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is dedicated to being the end of breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research. Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, BCRF-funded investigators have been deeply involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. This year, BCRF has awarded $63 million in grants to support the work of nearly 300 scientists at leading medical and academic institutions across 14 countries, making BCRF the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide. BCRF is also the highest rated breast cancer organization in the U.S. Visit www.bcrf.org to learn.
About CBS Sports Network
CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is widely available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors as well as via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV and Hulu. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers. For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
Full Transcription of the Media Availability for the Orlando Media with Kay Stanney, President of the Orlando Sports Foundation Board of Directors, and Alan Gooch, Executive Director of the AutoNation Cure Bowl, held at Camping World Stadium on Dec. 2, 2018.
Kay Stanney: “We are excited to welcome the University of Louisiana in Lafayette(, La.,) and Tulane University. The game will be played on December 15 at 1:30 p.m. at Camping World Stadium. It will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
“We would like to thank both the Sun Belt and American Athletic Conferences for providing us this fantastic matchup.
“We look forward to hosting both teams in The City Beautiful for a fun bowl week at Universal Orlando Resort. At the AutoNation Cure Bowl, we are proud of the fact that our charitable cause is first and foremost on gameday and every day. To date, we have raised more than $3.55 million in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and more than a million dollars of that funding has gone to our very own Dr. Annette Khaled, who is conducting ground-breaking research at the UCF College of Medicine. We hope that you come out on gameday, so that we can raise even more funds in support of cutting-edge cancer research.
“Let me introduce the Executive Director of the AutoNation Cure Bowl Alan Gooch to provide his thoughts on the matchup.”
Alan Gooch: “Thank you so much Kay. It’s obvious Kay has been the Women’s CEO of the Year as selected by Business Journal here in Orlando. We are very honored to have Kay as our board president. You can tell why it is going to be hard to follow that up. Any questions on the game?”
How excited are you for this match up?
Alan Gooch: “We are very excited. The University of Louisiana and Tulane have over 100 years of history playing college football comes. They do not get the opportunity to play every year, but it is a natural rivalry. They are only two hours apart – between Lafayette and New Orleans. There are kids that have played against each other in high school. It is going to be a great natural rivalry. So for us to have an opportunity to have a rivalry in our game, it is the first time ever that we have two teams from the same state playing in our bowl game.”
These are two very good teams. Louisiana was in the Sun Belt Championship and Tulane was a co-champion of its division. We do you see in the matchup?
Alan Gooch: “That’s right. I had the opportunity to be at the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Football Championship in Boone, N.C., and it a nip and tuck game during the first half against App State. So, we have to really good football teams. The last time that these two teams played – it went four overtimes.”
Still a young bowl at heart, but do you feel like these matchups are getting better and better every year?
Alan Gooch: “We are in our fourth year here and we use the great game college football as a platform to raise money for cancer research – that’s our cause as Kay had mentioned. Our mission is bringing together to find a cure for cancer. The two teams this year are the University of Louisiana and Tulane University, but that is our focus. To date, we have raised $3.5 million dollars for cancer research. We are very proud of that and we are going to continue to build on that. Most importantly, that is our mission. We feel like that we are certainly making progress towards that and using the great game of college football as a platform gives us that national platform to be able to talk about the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and the fact that they donate 91% of all funds raised to cancer research.”
Talk a little bit about the bowl week events and what’s on the schedule for the team when they come to Orlando?
Alan Gooch: “Both teams will be here by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and they will report to Universal Orlando Resort right there at Universal Studios. The Sun Belt Conference will go to the Portofino Bay Hotel. The American Athletic Conference will be at the Royal Pacific Hotel. It is a great opportunity and the only bowl in the country that has teams reporting to five-star resort hotels on property at a world-renowned theme park. The pep rally takes place right there at Universal. Our welcome reception happens on Wednesday at Universal. We welcome everybody come out for those events and it is a great experience for the student athletes.”
Information about Tickets?
Alan Gooch: “We would like everybody to go to our website CureBowl.com and purchase your tickets. As Kay said, it is on December 15th with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff here at Camping World Stadium. We have an 11:30 a.m. concert with Andy Grammer opening up fan fest at that time. Once that concert is over, everybody will be running the stadium to see this Battle of the Bayou right here in Orlando, Florida. Go to CureBowl.com today and get your tickets today.”