Virginia faces Minnesota in Music City Bowl

Updated: December 7, 2005, 4:24 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers will face Virginia in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl at 11 a.m. (CST) on Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tenn., the University of Minnesota said Sunday.

The matchup, which will be televised on ESPN, is one of two bowl game between teams from the Atlantic Coast and Big Ten conferences. The Orange Bowl also features an ACC and Big Ten matchup: Penn State vs. Florida State.

"A Minnesota and Virginia match-up is sure to be an exciting game on the field for all the fans," said Dale Polley, Bowl chairman. "And we think the fact that this represents the only Big Ten/ACC match-up in the postseason will make the Bowl a huge regional draw."

Minnesota (7-4) features one of the nation's top running backs, Laurence Maroney, who led the Big Ten's top-ranked scoring offense by averaging a conference-high 135 yards per game.

Virginia's (6-5) offensive lineman D'Brickashaw Ferguson and quarterback Marques Hagans are expected to lead in Virginia's first postseason bowl appearance in Nashville.

The Gophers will be appearing in their fourth straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Minnesota has played in six bowl games in the past seven years.

Minnesota played in the Music City Bowl in 2002, defeating Arkansas 24-19, and again last year, beating Alabama 20-16. The Gophers appeared in the Sun Bowl in 2003, defeating Oregon 31-30.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press