Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU will play North Carolina in Duke’s Mayo Bowl

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia Mountaineers will play North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte, NC on Dec. 27.

The game will be a rematch of the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl in which WVU defeated the Tar Heels 31-30. Former WVU quarterback Pat White was named MVP of the game after throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns.

West Virginia finished 8-4 (6-3 Big 12) this season, the team’s first eight-win season since 2018. WVU reached bowl eligibility with a 37-7 win over BYU on Nov. 4, part of a 4-1 finish to the regular season.

This is the Mountaineers’ third bowl appearance in Neal Brown’s fifth season as head coach. The team is 1-1 under Brown, winning the Liberty Bowl in 2020, 24-21, over Army and losing the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, 18-6, to Minnesota in 2021.

North Carolina also went 8-4 (4-4 ACC) this season. The Tar Heels ended the season on a cold streak, however, losing their last two games and four of their last six.

UNC also hasn’t had much success in bowl games recently. The team has lost its last three bowl appearances, five of its last six and 10 of its last 13.

The Mountaineers are just 1-4 in their last five bowl games and just 3-8 dating back to 2009. Prior to that, WVU won four straight bowl games from 2005-08.

Duke’s Mayo has been the presenting sponsor of the bowl game since 2020. Previous winners are Wisconsin (2020), South Carolina (2021) and Maryland (2022).

The conference tie-ins for the Duke’s Mayo Bowl are typically the ACC every year and the Big Ten and SEC alternating on odd and even years. The SEC did not have enough bowl-eligible teams to qualify this season, opening the way for WVU to be selected as a member of the Big 12.

The bowl has previously been known as the Belk Bowl, Meineke Car Care Center Bowl and the Continental Tire Bowl.

WVU has played in the game twice, in the Continental Tire Bowl in 2002 and the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2008. In 2002, the bowl’s first year, No. 15 WVU lost to Virginia 48-22.

West Virginia has played in Charlotte on two other occasions, a neutral-site game against Tennessee in 2018 and against East Carolina in 1999. WVU beat the Volunteers 40-14 in 2018 and lost 30-23 to the Pirates.