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Appalachian State and Miami (Ohio) Set to Play in the 2023 Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl

December 3, 2023 | Orlando Sports Foundation, Inc

Appalachian State and Miami (Ohio) Set to Play in the 2023 Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl

ORLANDO, FL – ESPN Events and the Orlando Sports Foundation (OSF) announced on Sunday that the 2023 Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl will be between Appalachian State and Miami (Ohio) at FBC Mortgage Stadium. Kickoff in Orlando, Florida, for the ninth-annual contest and is set for Saturday, Dec. 16, at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC with a simulcasted on ESPN+.

“On behalf of the Orlando Sports Foundation, we are honored to welcome Appalachian State and Miami (Ohio) to the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl,” said Alan Gooch, Orlando Sports Foundation CEO and Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl Executive Director. “Gameday is going to be special as college football fans, cancer survivors and supporters, both team’s bands and the Orlando Community come together for the Owens Corning March 2Cure before heading to FBC Mortgage Stadium to watch the Mountaineers compete against RedHawks.”

Miami (Ohio) (11-2, 7-1 Mid-American) is making its 15th bowl appearance, while Appalachian State (8-5, 6-2 Sun Belt) is heading to its eighth bowl game.

“The Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl’s mission has always been about bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer,” said Orlando Sports Foundation President Alan Hair. “Appalachian State and Miami (Ohio) will carry on our tradition of raising awareness for cancer research.”

The Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl, one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, is one of many fundraising events hosted by the Orlando Sports Foundation that supports the cancer research. Over $4.1 million has been raised since 2015. Local Orlando researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine has received $1.6 million from the funds donated.

Tickets start at $35 and are currently on sale at

The Owens Corning March 2 Cure is a pregame block party starting at 1:00 p.m. at Burger U. The event will be highlighted by a cancer tribute march featuring the team bands, dignitaries, cancer survivors, cancer supporters and the Orlando community walking together to FBC Mortgage Stadium.



  • Appalachian State captured the Sun Belt East Division with 6-2 league mark, but fell in the Sun Belt Championship game to Troy, 49-23, on Dec. 2.
  • The Mountaineers’ signature win this season came on Nov. 18, upsetting No. 18 James Madison, 26-23 OT, with the program’s first victory against an opponent with a 10-0 or better record. It was the third ranked win for the Mountaineers under the guidance of head coach Shawn Clark – No. 6 Texas A&M (17-14, 2022) and No. 14 Coastal Carolina (30-27, 2021).
  • Quarterback Joey Aguilar, Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year, leads the high-powered Appalachian State offense by going 275-of-428 for 3,546 yards, ranking ninth nationally, and 33 touchdowns, ranking third nationally. The receiving tandem of Kaedin Robinson (10) and Christian Horn (6) have hauled in 16 touchdowns, while accumulating 787 yards and 544 yards, respectively.
  • The ground game is led by Nate Noel with 834 yards and five touchdowns. Kanye Roberts has added 648 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns.
  • The Mountaineers’ defense is paced by Andrew Parker Jr and Nick Ross with 108 and 95 tackles, respectively. A team-best 7.5 sacks have been recorded by Nate Johnson, while four interceptions each have been caught by Tyrek Funderburk and Jordan Favos.
  • Head coach Shawn Clark is in his fourth season guiding the Mountaineers

“Orlando is a great destination for the App State football team and our passionate Mountaineer fan base. Thank you to Alan Gooch and his team for the invitation. We are thrilled to represent Appalachian State University and the Sun Belt Conference in the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl..”

– Doug Gillin, Appalachian State Director of Athletics


“We are excited play in the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl against Miami, Ohio. Our team kept digging all season. We have battled through adversity and won the Sun Belt East division. We will be proud to travel to Orlando and represent our university and one of the best conferences in America.”

– Shawn Clark, Appalachian State Head Coach



  • Miami (Ohio) captured the MAC Championship Game with a 23-14 victory over No. 23 Toledo on Dec. 2. Rashad Amos rushed for two touchdowns and 74 yards, while quarterback Aveon Smith totaled 99 yards on the ground and 109 yards through the air.
  • The RedHawks are appearing in a bowl game for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
  • This is the first time Miami (Ohio) has won 11 games in a season, since NFL Future Hall of Fame Quarter back Ben Roethlisberger took snaps for Maimi (Ohio) in 2003 (13-1).
  • Miami and James Madison are the only schools in the country with six road wins this season. The RedHawks are 6-1 on the road this year with their only loss coming in week one at Miami (Fla.).
  • Matt Salopek was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and Graham Nicholson came away with MAC Special Teams Player of the Year honors. Salopek is the first RedHawks player to earn Defensive Player of the Year, since Quinten Rollins did so in 2014. Nicholson, a Lou Groza Award finalist, is 26-of-27 on field goals this season.
  • Running back Rashad Amos leads the RedHawks with 895 yards and 12 touchdowns, while quarterback Aveon Smith has gone 48-for-96 for 638 yards and two touchdowns.
  • The RedHawks leading receiver is Gage Larvadain with 643 yards and six touchdowns.
  • The pair of Matt Salopek and Ty Wise pace the Miami (Ohio) defense with 134 and 110 tackles, respectively. A team-best 9.5 sacks has been tallied 9.5 sacks, while Yahsyn McKee has grabbed three interceptions.
  • Head coach Chuck Martin is in his 10th season guiding the RedHawks.


“We are honored to be selected to play in the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl. This is a great reward for our players and coaches who have put in so much work and effort during this incredible MAC Championship season.”

– David Sayler, Miami (Ohio) Director of Athletics


“I want to thank the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl for the invite and look forward to competing against a strong program in Appalachian State. The Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl is the perfect way to celebrate everything we have accomplished in 2023.”

– Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio) Head Coach


About Avocados from Mexico

Avocados From Mexico (AFM) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA), formed for the purpose of advertising, promotion, public relations and research for all stakeholders of Avocados From Mexico. Under agreements, MHAIA and the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers & Packers of Mexico (APEAM) have combined resources to fund and manage AFM, with the intent to provide a focused, highly effective and efficient marketing program in the United States. AFM is headquartered in Irving, Texas.


About the Orlando Sports Foundation 

The Orlando Sports Foundation (OSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for cancer research. The OSF holds several events throughout the year, including the Cure Bowl, which is an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) college football bowl game played each December.

With the combined support of Central Floridians, loyal sports fans, and strategic partners, the OSF is further dedicated and committed to serving the challenges of cancer awareness and elimination, by invigorating the Central Florida athletic community thru its Cure All Stars events, supporting youth organizations with standards of benevolence, integrity, and moral excellence.

The OSF works with our stakeholders to involve the entire community to join us in our quest to bring teams together to find a cure for cancer. The OSF focuses on research because we all know we will have to continue to manage the problem until we solve it. We focus our efforts on cancer because it touches so many lives worldwide, cancer does not discriminate. Together, we can tackle this. Click here to donate


ESPN Events 

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2023, the 33-event schedule includes four early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, nine college basketball events, a college softball event and the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, in addition to a new college gymnastics event coming in 2024. Collectively, these events account for over 400 hours of live programming on ESPN platforms, reaching 60 million viewers and attracting over 650,000 annual attendees. Each year, the portfolio of events features more than 20 Division I conferences and hosts over 4,000 participating student-athletes. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.



Media contacts 

Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl Contact: Nate Blythe at 772-240-8742 or [email protected]

ESPN Contact: Bill Hofheimer at 860-766-9589 or [email protected]