December 6, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame (9-2) announced today it has accepted an invitation for the Irish football team to play in the Toyota Gator Bowl against Atlantic Coast Conference runnerup and 12th-rated Georgia Tech (9-2).
The game will kick off at 12:30 p.m. EST, on January 1, 1999, at Alltel Stadium (76,940 capacity) in Jacksonville, Fla. The game will be televised live by NBC Sports and will be broadcast on radio by Pacific West Radio Sports as well as by Notre Dame's Westwood One-owned Mutual Network.
The invitation comes about based on Notre Dame's first-year relationship with the BIG EAST Conference, in which the Irish become a part of the BIG EAST pool of teams if the Irish are not selected for a Bowl Championship Series game (Notre Dame was released from BCS consideration earlier today).
This marks the second straight bowl appearance under Bob Davie, the first time an Irish coach has accomplished that in his first two seasons.
This marks Notre Dame's 11th postseason appearance in the last 12 years and its 23rd overall (The Irish are 13-9 in bowl competition but have lost three straight since beating Texas A&M in the '94 Cotton Bowl). Among the previous 22 bowl stops was one earlier Gator Bowl appearance -- a 20-9 win over Penn State in 1976.
The Irish will begin serious preparations once final exams end on December 18. The Irish are expected to travel to Jacksonville on December 26 and conduct their first practice there the next day.
Quarterback Jarious Jackson, who sat out the final regular-season loss at USC after suffering MCL damage November 21 vs. LSU, hopes to be back at full strength by the time the Irish begin workouts in Jacksonville.
Notre Dame received an allotment of 12,500 tickets and they are available for purchase by calling the Notre Dame Ticket Office at 219-631-7356 (use VISA or Mastercard).