The Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, benefiting the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, announced that the University of North Carolina and Temple University have accepted invitations to play in this year’s game on Friday, Dec 27, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, in Annapolis. The game will be televised on ESPN.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. North Carolina will be making its first appearance in the Military Bowl, ending a two-year postseason absence by beating Mercer and North Carolina State to close the season and become bowl-eligible. The Tar Heels feature freshman quarterback Sam Howell, who was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year after passing for 3,347 yards and a school single-season record 35 touchdowns.

Brown’s return to the sidelines helped energize the North Carolina fan base, as the Tar Heels sold out each of their home games this season.

Temple (8-4) will appear in a bowl game for the fifth consecutive year, a stretch that includes a loss to Wake Forest in the 2016 Military Bowl. The Owls also played in the 2009 EagleBank Bowl (the predecessor of the Military Bowl). Defensive end Quincy Roche, who is from Randallstown, was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year after posting 44 tackles and 13 sacks.

Six other Temple players received All-AAC honors as the Owls won three of the final four games to finish the regular season with plenty of momentum.

Tickets for the game, which is presented by Northrop Grumman, benefits the USO. Proceeds from the Bowl also benefit Patriot Point, the Military Bowl’s 290-acre retreat for recovering service members, their families and caregivers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.