Vanderbilt University has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2011 AutoZone Liberty Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The game will be played in Memphis on December 31 at 2:30 p.m. The Bearcats are the current Big East co-champions.
The bowl game will be Vanderbilt's fifth bowl appearance in school history. The Commodores last played in Nashville's Music City Bowl in 2008.
“It feels great, to have all the people out here to hear the announcement was unbelievable, we're just happy to be in a bowl,” Vanderbilt quarterback, Jordan Rodgers told Nashville's News 2.
Loyal Vanderbilt football fans are also excited about the team's trip to Memphis.
“Awesome, awesome… it's just like a dream come true,” said Vanderbilt fan, Pat Maberry.
Vanderbilt alumni, Jessica Penrod added, “When I first came to Vandy in 2004, it was like unheard of [to play in a bowl game]. We were 2-10 every single year, so the fact that we are seeing two bowl games while we are still in campus is awesome.”
“I came [to Vanderbilt] in 2008 as a freshman and we went to a bowl game my freshman year and so I'm graduating this year so it's nice to close out with another bowl game,” said Vanderbilt student, Nate Napier.
The Dores finished the season 6-6.
It has been a long journey for the team and new head coach, James Franklin.
“Considering 11 months where we started and where we are now but the support has been unbelievable just really, really proud of our kids and everything we're doing,” Franklin told Nashville's News 2.
Now with a winning team and bid to the Liberty Bowl, Coach Franklin and players are challenging all Vanderbilt fans to make the trip to Memphis for the game.
“I challenge everyone to show up. It's a short drive, so anybody that's got a Vanderbilt shirt in the closet take it out, put it on, come down to Memphis and watch us win,” Rodgers said.
Coach Franklin added, “We need the fans to step up big time, all of our alumni, our fans all over the world wherever they're at, in state or out come and support the ‘Dores.”
For ticket information, visit Vanderbilt.edu or call 615-322-GOLD.