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Surprise! Middle Tennessee will be playing Arkansas State in the 2017 Camellia Bowl!

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After looking like they would be left out of the fun, Middle Tennessee will play a familiar foe in Montgomery.

SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 09:  Ty Lee #8 of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders is congratulated for a touchdown reception during the fourth quarter against the Syracuse Orange by teammate CJ Windham #81 on September 9, 2017 at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. Middle Tennessee defeats Syracuse 30-23.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Just when MTSU fans began to accept the fact that their team wouldn’t be going bowling, Sunday evening the Camellia Bowl chose the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders to face the Arkansas State Red Wolves on December 16th in Montgomery.

This is the 7th bowl game for the program since joining the FBS and the third year in a row they will be playing in a bowl game. After playing in Hawaii and the Bahamas in the past two years, this will be the first bowl the Blue Raiders have played in the continental United States since 2013. This bowl being a four hour drive from Murfreesboro is a BIG win for the Middle Tennessee fan base after the past two years.

After a very disappointing season for the Blue Raiders, finishing at 6-6, this is a chance to end the year strongly against an Arkansas State team that they are very familiar with. Arkansas State comes into this matchup 7-4 on the season, good enough to finish third in the Sun Belt.

This will be the 15th meeting between these teams after spending years together in the Sun Belt. The Red Wolves have won the last three matchups between these teams before Middle Tennessee left for Conference USA.