Georgia State will face Ball State in Camellia Bowl on Christmas

The Georgia State Panthers know their destiny: they’ll face the Ball State Cardinals in the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. on Christmas Day.

Georgia State enters the game after a 7-5 season, including a 6-2 record against the Sun Belt Conference. Shawn Elliott’s team, who has won six of their last seven games, will also play in their third straight bowl. It’s the program’s fifth bowl appearance in its twelve-year history and first appearance in the Camellia Bowl. A win would give them a historic eight wins on the season, which no previous team has done yet. 

The Panthers have faced the Cardinals twice before, with each school taking a game in the other’s home stadium. The Panthers won 31-19 in Muncie, Ind. in 2015, but the Cardinals took the 2016 season opener at the Georgia Dome, 31-21. 

Head coach Mike Neu leads Ball State into the matchup. The Cardinals have a 28-40 record in six seasons under him. After beating San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl last year, it’s their second straight bowl appearance. Ball State won their 2021 season opener against FCS opponent Western Illinois before dropping their next three games. The Cardinals then won three straight against Army and conference foes Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Neu’s squad grabbed the ever-crucial sixth win against Buffalo to finish the season on Nov 23.

This is Georgia State’s first appearance in the Camellia Bowl, held at the Cramton Bowl. Kickoff is set for 2:30 PM EST, and the game can be watched on ESPN.