We reported it last night based on ESPN projections and it became official this afternoon: Air Force and South Alabama — two teams with quality victories — will play each other in the second Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium on Dec. 30.
South Alabama went 6-6 in the regular season with a 2-6 record in the Sun Belt. The Jaguars had two impressive wins against bowl-bound Mississippi State of the SEC and Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State, both games on the road.
Air Force went an impressive 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the Mountain West in the regular season.
The Falcons, who will play in front of supporters from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, are in the midst of a five-game winning streak. They beat No. 19 Boise State 27-20 last week. They also defeated an impressive 9-3 Navy team 28-14 on Oct. 1 at home.
The Jaguars are in a bowl for the second time in three years, following a trip to the Camellia Bowl in 2014.
“We obviously knew we had another game, we just didn’t know where,” South Alabama coach Joey Jones said. “It’s great for our team to be rewarded to play in a bowl game.”
The Arizona Bowl will be televised on the American Sports Network via Campus Insiders again this year. The telecast will be syndicated to local broadcast television stations and regional sports networks.
The following are some social media reactions of the good matchup between Air Force and South Alabama:
South Alabama is headed for a bowl game: https://t.co/fi4ykwmGIz
The Arizona Bowl taking some shots from media in the region:
When it comes to exposure, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is a significantly better spot for CSU than the Arizona Bowl. No question about it.
Idaho-Colorado State will kick off at 4 p.m. PST on Dec. 22 on ESPN. More national exposure for Vandals in Potato Bowl than Arizona Bowl.
At least Air Force’s coach welcomes the opportunity to play in Tucson:
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun says he is "absolutely delighted" to be headed to the Arizona Bowl.
A homecoming in the works for former Salpointe standout Jake Ksiazek.
SCLancerNation congratulates and Welcomes back Lancer4Life Jake Ksiask of Air Force! Falcons in Tucson for the Arizona Bowl pic.twitter.com/zMO9OttfRS
Former Ironwood Ridge quarterback Tyler Williams, now a receiver with Air Force, also returning to Tucson:
Please let this be the case …
Air Force, as the home team, will consider wearing Shark Tooth-themed uniforms in the Arizona Bowl.
Should be a quality product on the field ….
Long time coming for Arizona’s former WAC rival Air Force to return to Tucson …
@JavierJMorales AFA played in the Copper Bowl in Tucson in 1995, losing to Texas Tech 55-41.
Before that, the previous trip was in 1973 when the Falcons beat Arizona 27-26.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.