FIU AND TOLEDO ACCEPT 2018 MAKERS WANTED BAHAMAS BOWL INVITATIONS

FIU will represent Conference USA and Toledo will represent the Mid-American Conference as both institutions accepted bids to the 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, set for Friday, Dec. 21 in Nassau’s Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

The Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl will be played at 12:30 p.m. ET, and the contest will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Radio Network.

The early invitation allows both FIU and Toledo additional time to prepare to play in an international destination, including obtaining passports for those who still need them to travel to the Bahamas as well as giving extra time for fans to make their travel plans to Nassau for bowl week.

Tickets to the 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl can be purchased through at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium Box Office, online at NSA-Bahamas.com and by phone at 325-0376.

The 15 combined victories (eight for FIU and seven for Toledo) between this year’s teams is one shy of tying the most in Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl history (2016, 2017).

This will be the fourth all-time meeting between FIU and Toledo, and the first between the schools since the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, where FIU won 34-32. FIU leads the series over Toledo, 2-1. The Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl series between Conference USA and the MAC is tied, 2-2.

FIU (8-4 overall, 6-2 in Conference USA play) will be led to its’ fourth all-time bowl appearance by head coachButch Davis, who is in his second season (16-9 record) at FIU and his 12th season as a college head coach (95-52 overall record at FIU, North Carolina and Miami). The 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl will be the second consecutive bowl game for the Panthers as FIU played in the 2017 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl under Davis’ direction.

The Panthers come into the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl with victories in six of their last eight games.

“We’re thrilled for our team to play in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl - which is our second-consecutive bowl game - and get a chance to enjoy the Bahamian culture,” FIU Head Coach Butch Davis said. “The Atlantis resort is one of the best facilities in the world and we’re excited to enjoy their hospitality. Toledo is a very good football program and our kids are excited for the challenge. Hopefully, this provides our team with an opportunity to cap the season on a high note.”

“On behalf of our President and Board of Trustees, we are excited to accept a bid to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl,” FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia said. “We are looking forward to our team participating in this prestigious bowl. This bowl game allows us to recognize our football team for their hard work and successful season. We look forward to seeing Panther Nation in Nassau, Bahamas.”

Toledo (7-5, 5-3 in Mid-American Conference play) will be led to its’ 18th all-time bowl appearance by head coach Jason Candle, who is in his third full season (28-12) as a college head coach (all at Toledo). The 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl will be the fifth-straight bowl game for the Rockets, and the eighth in the last nine seasons. This will be the fourth bowl game for the Rockets under Candle’s direction, as he was named head coach prior to the 2015 Boca Raton Bowl, and in all three full seasons as Toledo’s head coach.

The Rockets come into the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl on a two-game win streak and victories in four of their final five games.

“The Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl will provide our team with an outstanding bowl experience, as well as the opportunity to play against a very tough FIU team,” said Toledo Head Coach Jason Candle. “We are looking forward to a great matchup. Playing in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl is an excellent reward for our players, coaches, fans and everyone who has played a part in the success of our program.”

“We are very excited to accept an invitation to play in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl,” said Toledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “We are looking forward to working with the staff at the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl as we participate in their outstanding bowl. This will be our first trip to the Bahamas and we are looking forward to a terrific bowl experience against a very fine FIU team. I also want to congratulate head coach Jason Candle, his staff and our entire Rocket football team for earning their eighth bowl invitation in the last nine years.”