Texas to host the inaugural Frisco Football Classic. Here's everything you need to know about the newest NCAA bowl game

Jalyn Smoot

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Frisco Football Classic/ESPN

FRISCO, TEXAS- In order to accommodate all 84 bowl-eligible teams, the NCAA has expanded its playoff platform, adding 18 novel bowl games to the 2021-22 schedule.

The Frisco Football Classic, one of the newest NCAA bowl game additions, will be played on Thursday, Dec. 23, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. It will be broadcast by ESPN.

When plans of hosting the bowl game in Texas began, many expected the event to be hosted at the Star in Frisco, the luxurious Dallas Cowboys' practice facility. Instead, the Toyota Stadium, which usually hosts soccer games for FC Dallas, will be modified to match NCAA football standards.

North Texas (6-6), representing Conference USA, and Miami (6-6), representing the Mid-American Conference, will play for bragging rights to the inaugural Frisco Football Classic title. It will be the first time the two programs face off.

“We are thrilled to announce the Frisco Football Classic Bowl between Miami and North Texas, accomplished programs from the Mid-American Conference and Conference USA, respectively,” said Frisco Football Classic executive director Sean Johnson. “We are excited to welcome the teams and their enthusiastic fan bases to Frisco, Texas.”

For Miami, this will be their second bowl game in three years. Their last bowl game appearance came in 2019 when they lost the Lending Tree Bowl to Lousiana 27-17.

Behind their vaunted defense, Miami looks to have better luck this time around. Miami features the top defense in the MAC, ranking first in scoring allowed (22.0), rush defense (120.5), sacks (30), and fourth-down defense (66.7%). Defensive lineman Kameron Butler was fourth in the MAC in sacks (8) and tackles for loss (14.0) while linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. was third in the conference with 116 tackles and sixth with 13.0 tackles for loss.

At the Frisco Football Classic, Miami also will be afforded the chance to snap its 31-game non-conference losing streak against FBS opponents. The RedHawks’ last FBS win outside of the MAC was over Army in 2011.

On the other side of the ball, North Texas will be playing in their fifth bowl game in the past six seasons. After a 1-6 start to their season, North Texas experienced one of the most epic turnarounds to a season in the history of their football program.

Led by a DeAndre Torrey-inspired rushing attack that recorded the fourth-most total rushing yards in the nation, North Texas surged in the second half of the year, closing out the regular season on a five-game winning streak.

Their most recent victory, a 45-23 blowout over the previously undefeated UTSA, gave the program six victories on the year, giving the Mean Green football team bowl eligibility.

Against Miami, expect North Texas to try to establish the running game early. And, with the game in Frisco, look for the North Texas faithful to flood the stadium and try to make it an unofficial home game.

"We are honored to be selected to play in the Frisco Football Classic," UNT Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and Director of Athletics Wren Baker said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for our fans to show the country what makes the Mean Green Family special with a big turnout for a game in our backyard, and a chance for our program to continue building on its strong finish to the season."

Tickets for the event can be purchased by going to https://thefriscobowl.com/tickets/ .

For more information, visit the ESPN official website.

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I write about Dallas and Collin County sports, politics, interesting people, and environmental issues. I strive to shine a light on issues that are still in the dark and help to give a voice to the voiceless

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