After finishing the season on a 6-1 tear and earning their third straight bowl appearance, the 7-5 Georgia State Panthers learned today that they will play in the 2021 TaxAct Camellia Bowl. The game, played at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, AL, kicks off on Christmas Day at 2:30pm Eastern. Georgia State will play Ball State of the Mid-American Conference, who are 6-6 on the season. The matchup was first reported by Brett McMurphy of ActionNetwork.com.
This is the Panthers’ fifth total bowl appearance since joining the FBS in 2013 and their fourth bowl in five seasons under head coach Shawn Elliott. The team is 2-2 all-time in bowl games and 2-1 under Coach Elliott. A win in this game would give them a winning record in bowl games for the first time in school history. They also have an opportunity with a win in the Camellia Bowl to set a new all-time program record with 8 wins.
This will be the third time Georgia State faces off with the Cardinals of Ball State. The all-time series is knotted at 1 after each road team won in a home-and-home non-conference series in 2015 and 2016. The Panthers won 31-19 in Muncie in the first matchup, on the way to their eventual first bowl berth later that season, while the Cardinals got the last laugh with a 31-21 win in the 2016 season opener. That win was the first game in charge for Ball State’s current head coach Mike Neu, who is 28-40 in his six seasons as head man. Neu is an alum of Ball State, starting for four years at quarterback at the school from 1990 to 1993. This is the Cardinals’ second bowl appearance under Coach Neu and the second in as many seasons after they appeared in the 2020 Arizona Bowl, beating San Jose State 34-13.
This will be the Panthers’ first appearance in the Camellia Bowl and the second consecutive bowl game they’ll play in the state of Alabama, after beating Western Kentucky 39-21 in the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, AL on December 26 last year. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. Tickets are available through the bowl’s official website at www.camelliabowl.com/tickets/ and will be made available through Georgia State at www.georgiastatesports.com/Bowls.