Tag Archives: Tropicana Field

Marshall defeats UConn 16-10 in the St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field

(St. Petersburg, FL) Using a ball control offense and several extended drives, the Marshall Thundering Herd defeated the UConn Huskies 16-10 this afternoon in the 8th St. Petersburg Bowl played at Tropicana Field. Marshall had 5 consecutive possessions at one time of more than 10 plays, keeping the ball for nearly 35 minutes en route to their 10th victory of the season.

Keion Davis was named game MVP with a 10 carry, 73-yard performance including a 41-yard scamper late in the 4th quarter setting up Nick Smith’s 3rd field goal of the contest. Smith connected on kicks from 21, 29 and 32 yards out. Marshall Quarterback Chase Litton completed 23 of 34 passes for 218 Yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

The Thundering Herd took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Chase Litton lofted a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tight End Ryan Yurachek. It was Litton’s 23rd TD pass of the season.

UConn responded with a 13-play, 71-yard scoring drive taking 6:19 off the clock capped off by an 8-yard touchdown run by Running Back Ron Johnson tying the game at 7-7 with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter.

Nick Smith booted the first of his 3 field goals topping Marshall’s first clock burning drive of 13 plays and 65 yards in 6:02 to regain a 10-7 lead for the Herd.

Smith added a 29-yard field goal after Marshall drove the ball 85 yards in 15 plays in just under 5 minutes giving the Herd a 13-7 lead going into halftime.

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Marshall opened the second half with its third straight drive of more than 10 plays but turned the ball over on downs at the UConn 17 yard line.

Kendall Gant intercepted UConn Quarterback Bryant Shirreff for the first turnover of the game. Marshall again kept the ball for 10 plays and 4 and a half minutes, but game up empty when Nick Smith missed a 42 yard field goal attempt.

The Huskies pulled to within 3 on Bobby Puyol’s St. Petersburg Bowl record long 52-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter.

UConn’s Jamar Summers intercepted Chase Litton early in the 4th quarter, but UConn’s offense stalled and was forced to punt with 8:19 left in the game. Marshall executed another lengthy drive of more than 10 plays, led by Keion Davis’ 71 yards on 10 carries setting up Nick Smith’s 32 yard field goal with 1:44 remaining. The Thundering Herd’s defense squashed UConn’s last minute hopes forcing a turnover on downs to seal the win for Marshall.

Marshall finishes the 2015 season with a 10-3 record while UConn falls to 6-7.

Bowl Shots

Today is the 8th St. Petersburg Bowl held at Tropicana Field. Marshall University comes in with a 9-3 overall record and 6-2 Conference USA record. UConn finished the regular season at 6-6, 4-4 in the American Athletic Conference.

Marshall averaged just under 33 points per game on offense in 2015. UConn averaged just under 18 points per game on offense.

Today’s officials were from the Mountain West Conference.

ESPN telecast the St. Petersburg Bowl and streamed the game on ESPN3. Tom Hart called the play-by-play with Anthony Becht doing the color and Tiffany Greene on the sidelines. ESPN radio also carried the game with Drew Goodman handling the play-by-play, Rene Ingoglia doing the color and Brett McMurphy on the sidelines.

Events this week in St. Petersburg leading up to the game included a “fill the bowl” contest at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort Grand Ballroom, “Beach Bash” on Madeira Beach, dance and belly flop contests and battle of the bands at Sirata Beach Resort.

Both schools marching bands performed at halftime.

125 players who have played in previous St. Petersburg Bowls have gone on to sign NFL contracts including Blake Bortles (UCF/Jacksonville Jaguars), T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Indianapolis Colts) and George Selvie (USF, NY Giants).

This was the UConn Huskies first bowl game in Florida.

Attendance: 14,652.

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Tampa Bay Rays Release 2016 Schedule

(St. Petersburg, FL) The Tampa Bay Rays will open the 2016 season on Monday, April 4 at 3:10 p.m. versus the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. All 30 major league teams released their 2016 schedules today. The schedule is subject to change.

Highlighting the schedule are home weekend series with the New York Yankees (May 27-29 and July 29-31), Boston Red Sox (September 23-25) and San Francisco Giants (June 17-19).

For the fourth consecutive season, Tampa Bay will play 20 interleague games. The Rays will face all five teams from National League West Division including a home-and-home series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rays will also continue their annual home-and-home series with the Miami Marlins. The Dodgers will make their first visit to Tropicana Field since 2007, May 3-4, and on July 26-27, the Rays will make only their second ever trip to Dodger Stadium. The Rays will host the Giants for the only the second time in the last 12 years. The interleague schedule also includes a home series with the San Diego Padres and road sets with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

The schedule includes 76 games versus the American League East Division, 34 against the AL Central and 32 versus the AL West. The breakdown includes 19 games each against the Yankees (9 home, 10 away), Orioles (9 home, 10 away), Red Sox (10 home, 9 away) and Toronto Blue Jays (10 home, 9 away).

The Rays will also play seven games against the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Oakland Athletics. The Rays will have six games apiece against the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.

The Rays close out the 2016 home schedule with a six-game homestand against the Yankees and Red Sox, September 20-25.

This will be the seventh consecutive season the Rays will open the season at home.

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2015 Rays Fan Fest Autograph Passes To Go On Sale Wednesday

(St. Petersburg, FL) Autograph passes for the 2015 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest presented by the Tampa Bay Times will go on sale this week. Rays Fan Fest is scheduled for Saturday, February 21 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field. For the 20th consecutive year, admission and parking for Rays Fan Fest are free.

Like last year, autographs at Fan Fest will only be available with the purchase of an autograph pass. These player-specific passes go on sale to the general public at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 4 exclusively on raysbaseball.com (subject to availability). Rays Members—Season Ticket Holders and Flex Pack buyers—will also receive information regarding pre-sale opportunities for these passes.

Autograph passes provide access to a player at a specific time frame during Fan Fest. A limited number of passes will be sold for each signing player and all sales must be completed online, exclusively on raysbaseball.com, in advance of Fan Fest and will not be available for sale on the day of or during Fan Fest. The cost of each autograph pass is $25 per player.

All proceeds from autograph sales will benefit the ALS Association Florida Chapter. At Rays Fan Fest in 2014, between the Rays Charity Yard Sale at 162 Landing and autograph sales, $100,000 was raised to benefit local charities.

Once again, there will be one player autograph station free for kids 14 and under and for fans who have purchased autograph passes. More than 30 former major league players will be available to sign autographs for free throughout the day to go along with personalized interaction with Rays players and coaches and numerous activities for kids.

Additionally, fans can become a Rays Member by purchasing a limited edition Fan Fest Flex Pack that includes a Kevin Kiermaier Bobblehead and an autograph pass pre-sale opportunity by visiting raysbaseball.com or calling 888-FAN-RAYS.
For more information about the 2015 Rays Fan Fest, fans can visit raysbaseball.com/fanfest. More event details will be released soon.

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NC State defeats UCF 34-27 in Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl

(St. Petersburg, FL) Junior quarterback Jacoby Brissett and the NC State Wolfpack made certain that the ACC’s first appearance in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl was a victorious one.

Named NC State’s game MVP, Brissett completed 15-of-26 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown and Matt Dayes added a pair of rushing scores to lead the Wolfpack (8-5) to a 34-27 win over American Athletic Conference co-champion UCF (9-4) Friday night at Tropicana Field in the seventh annual St. Petersburg event in front of an announced crowd of 26,675.

NC State controlled much of the game and extended its lead to 34-13 on Niklas Sade’s second field goal of the night with 12:37 left in the fourth quarter. UCF, though, kept things interesting with the second and third scoring receptions by the Knights’ game MVP Josh Reese to cut the margin to 34-27 with 1:44 remaining.

The Wolfpack then pounced on an onside kick and ran out the clock to secure the win.

Second-year Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren was very impressed with the effort of his team, considered by many to be one of the youngest in the nation.

“I want to say thank you to the players,” Doeren said. “They played their butts off. The rest of our coaches did a great job and the players made it all possible. I’m really proud of all our players.”

Doeren praised the growth and play of his quarterback Brissett.

“He takes things so personal,” Doeren added. “He is such a competitor. He gives all the credit to his teammates. He learned a lot throughout this season, and we love him.”

Brissett’s comments after the game were an example of what Doeren alluded to.

“I was just grateful for the chance they gave me to become the starting quarterback of this team,” Brissett said after receiving his MVP trophy. “It was truly a dream come true.

“From last season to this season, we went in with the mindset to attack the season,” Brissett added. “I want to give credit to our coaches and the rest of my teammates. We all play as one.”

The game was close throughout the first half as the lead changed hands three times before NC State headed to the locker room at intermission with a 17-10 lead.

UCF opened the scoring with a 40-yard field goal from Shawn Moffitt but NC State answered quickly with the game’s first touchdown on an option pass by running back Shadrach Thornton to Jaylen Samuels.

Reese notched his first scoring reception — a six-yarder from Justin Holman — early in the second quarter to put UCF back in front at 10-7. NC State then took the lead for good when Brissett connected with Johnathan Alston from 37 yards out. The Wolfpack added Sade’s first field goal at the three-minute mark to push the margin to 17-10.

Dayes, who finished with 78 yards on 13 carries, scored his two rushing touchdowns in a third period that saw NC State outscore the Knights, 14-3, and push the lead to 31-13.

Thornton narrowly missed the 100-yard rushing mark as he led all ball carriers in the game with 96 yards on 17 attempts.

Holman finished the night completing 23-of-51 passes for 291 yards and the three scoring tosses to Reese. The 291 yards were just three shy of the St. Petersburg Bowl record.

Bitcoin Bowl Log

GAME NOTES

Game MVPs:
NC State – QB Jacoby Brissett – 15/26, 262 passing yards, 1 touchdown
UCF – WR Josh Reese – 6 receptions, 75 yards, 3 touchdown receptions

The teams combined for 860 total – second-most in bowl history.
(NC St with 487 total yards and UCF with 373 total yards)
Attendance for today’s game was second-most in bowl history, listed at 26,675.

UCF’s loss ends the current 3-game winning streak that AAC held in bowl history.

UCF
• Wide Receiver Josh Reese’s 3 touchdown receptions sets the bowl record for most receiving touchdowns.
• Quarterback Justin Holman’s 291 passing yards ended as the second-most in bowl history. His 53 passing attempts finished as the most in bowl history.
• Justin Holman’s 3 touchdown passes ties the record for most touchdown passes in the history of the bowl.
• Justin Holman’s touchdown pass in the second quarter continued his streak to 10 straight games with a TD pass.
• Wide Receiver Breshad Perriman’s 138 receiving yards were the second-most in bowl history.
• Kicker Shawn Moffitt (UCF) 45-yard field goal finished the game tied for 2nd for longest field goal in bowl history.
• Punter Caleb Houston’s average of 42.8 yards per punt is a bowl record.
• UCF tied a bowl game record for fewest penalties (3) and penalty yardage (30).

NC STATE
• Quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s 262 passing yards ended as the 5th-most in bowl history.
• The touchdown pass from Shadrach Thornton was the 3rd-non QB touchdown pass in bowl history. Thornton was also the first running back to score by throwing a touchdown.
• Matt Dayes’ two touchdown runs ties a bowl record for most rushing touchdowns.
• NC State’s ground game tied a bowl game record with 49 rushing attempts.

NC State and UCF meet in 7th Annual Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field December 26

(St. Petersburg, FL) The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl has announced that the University of Central Florida (UCF) from the American Athletic Conference and NC State from the Atlantic Coast Conference has each accepted an invitation to play in this year’s game. The seventh edition of the bowl game will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL., on Friday, Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.

“We’re excited about this matchup in the first year of our new conference agreements with The American and Atlantic Coast Conference,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. “UCF fans have provided great support for their team in their past trips to our game and we look forward to showcasing St. Petersburg as a premier bowl destination to the NC State fans. “

UCF (9-3, 7-1), which won its second consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship this season, is riding a four-game winning streak and has won eight of its last nine games. This will be the Knights third appearance at the bowl game. UCF’s last trip to St. Petersburg was in 2012 when future NFL first round pick Blake Bortles led them to a 38-17 win over Ball State.

“We had a wonderful experience in St. Petersburg in 2012, so we’re certainly excited to head back to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” said UCF Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. “Our team really enjoyed the activities surrounding the bowl and all the hospitality from everyone involved with the game and we appreciate the efforts of all involved to make it a first-class bowl game.”

“After a 9-3 season we are very happy to go to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” added UCF Head Coach George O’Leary. “Obviously a bowl game is a great reward for the players, the program and the fanbase. We are very anxious to get to St. Petersburg and enjoy the bowl and its festivities.”
Bitcoin Bowl Log
NC State (7-5, 3-5) will be playing in its 28th bowl game and 10th since 2000. This year’s game will be the Wolfpack’s first bowl played in the state of Florida since 2010 when they defeated West Virginia at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

“St. Petersburg is a beautiful, warm weather destination to play our bowl. Congratulations to our players and coaches,” said Wolfpack Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow.

“We are both excited and thankful for the opportunity to play in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” said NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren, who has now coached bowl eligible teams 10 of the 13 years he’s been a full-time D1 coach. “We know that the NC State fan base will enjoy the opportunity to support their Wolfpack in a great city and I look forward to seeing a sea of red on game day! This is a great reward for our young team that has continued to improve over the course of the season, especially for the 12 current players from Florida who will be able to be home for the holidays.”

NC State and UCF have met twice, with each team claiming a victory on the road. UCF won the initial matchup at NC State 25-22 in 2007. The Wolfpack evened the all-time series with a 28-21 win at UCF in 2010.

The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl is owned-and-operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, which manages 11 postseason bowl games.

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BitPay Signs on as New St. Petersburg Bowl Game Title Sponsor

(St. Petersburg, FL) ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, has announced BitPay, the world’s leader in business solutions for the bitcoin digital currency, as the new title sponsor for the annual college football postseason game played in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field. Beginning with this year’s December 26 game, the bowl will now be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. BitPay will serve as title sponsor for three years through the 2016 game.

“Our goal is to continue to move bitcoin into the mainstream and sponsoring the St. Petersburg Bowl offers us that opportunity,” said Tony Gallippi, Executive Chairman for BitPay. “College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic – tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40.”

By sponsoring the bowl game, BitPay is not only hoping to stimulate the bitcoin community around the event, but also to further promote interest in the digital currency on a national scale. The bowl game will be an exciting opportunity to enable fans to use bitcoin in a fun, collegiate sports environment. With a rapport of over 33,000 merchants and growing, BitPay has led the bitcoin economy by allowing businesses around the world to easily accept bitcoin. The attention brought to bitcoin by the game will only further boost its ascension into the mainstream.

Bitcoin Bowl Log

“We’re extremely excited to welcome BitPay to college football and our bowl home in St. Petersburg,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial arrangement.”

The 2014 game will be played on Friday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The game, which will once again air on ESPN, is in its first-year of its new conference affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the American Athletic Conference.

Tickets for the 2014 Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will go on sale later this year with prices starting as low as just $40. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets and merchandise will also be available to purchase with bitcoin.

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