Miami to Face Florida in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31

Dec. 5, 2004

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami Hurricanes will take on the Florida Gators in the 37th annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2004. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN and is scheduled for an 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

This will be the second appearance for the Hurricanes in the Peach Bowl. On Jan. 2, 1981, the Hurricanes defeated Virginia Tech 20-10 in the Peach Bowl in a game that has been credited as the turning point in the Miami football program. Prior to that Peach Bowl, Miami had not appeared in a bowl game since for 14 years. Since that game, the Hurricanes have qualified for in 20 bowl games in 24 years.

“The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is an outstanding bowl game, and we hope to represent the University of Miami well,” said Miami head coach Larry Coker. “We have an opportunity to go to an outstanding bowl game and play a very good team from the University of Florida.”

Miami and Florida are in-state rivals that will meet for the 53rd time, with Miami holding a 27-25 lead in the series. Miami has won the last five games in the series dating back to 1986. The game will also be for the state championship, since both Miami and Florida defeated Florida State earlier this season.

Miami is making its 31st bowl appearance overall. The Hurricanes have a record of 17-13 in 30 previous bowl games. This will be the first bowl game ever played by the Hurricanes on New Year’s Eve.

The 8-3 Hurricanes finished in third place in their inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference and enter the game ranked 14th in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Florida finished the regular season with a 7-4 record and is ranked 20th by AP and 19th by ESPN/USA Today.

The matchup between the Hurricanes and the Gators marks the renewal of one of college football’s fiercest rivalries that goes back to 1938 and is the second meeting between the two schools in a bowl game and the third meeting in the last three years . The two schools met in the 2001 Sugar Bowl, with Miami winning 37-20. The two teams will meet for the first time since the second game of the 2003 season, a 38-33 Miami victory in a wild comeback after trailing by 23 points in the third quarter. The two teams have played at neutral sites five times, with Miami winning the last two games after losing the first three contests.