CONCORD, N.C. — The hype ahead of Duke's Mayo Bowl, which will feature NC State and Maryland on Dec. 30, is ramping up.
On Tuesday, the teams faced off in a racing experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, about 20 miles northeast of Charlotte.
The Terps went first in the race and the Wolfpack followed shortly after.
On Wednesday, both teams did some community service with Second Harvest Food Bank.
NC State and Maryland packed 3,000 backpacks for local children who would otherwise go hungry.
The opportunity was all about giving back to the community and providing a unique experience for the players.
Second Harvest Food Bank fills an average 3,000 to 5,000 backpacks of shelf-stable food every week, resulting in more than 300,000 meals annually.
DUKE'S MAYO BOWL ROAD CLOSURES
6 AM - 5 PM
S Mint St: between W Morehead and Brooklyn Village Ave
Graham St: between Mint St & Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
9 AM - 5 PM
Mint St: between Brooklyn Village Ave and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
1st St: between Mint St and Church St
Brooklyn Village Ave: between Church St and Mint St
Mint St: right NB lane between W Trade St and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
4th St: right EB lane between Graham St and Mint St
Graham St: right SB lane between W Trade St and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Levine Avenue of the Arts: between Church St and Tryon St
Morehead St: right WB lane between S Tryon St and I-77 SB ramp
Mint St: between Carson Blvd and Morehead St
2:30 PM - 5 PM
Church St: both directions of Church St between Morehead St and Carson Blvd
Mint St: SB lanes of Mint St between W Trade St and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Graham St: both SB lanes between W Trade St and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
4th St: both eastbound lanes between Graham St and Mint St
Morehead St: both WB lanes between Church St and Mint St
Brooklyn Village Ave: between Church St and College St
Martin Luther King Jr Blvd: between Mint St and Church S
This is a small part of a big effort throughout the year. With that need so large, volunteers are always needed. Find out ways to donate time or money here.
Later on Wednesday, the players had a shopping spree at the Belk in Southpark Mall.
Thursday marks media day at the Charlotte Convention Center, followed by a stadium walkthrough at Bank of America Stadium where the bowl game will be held the next day.
NC State finished the season with an 8-4 record and is ranked No. 23 in the NCAA's college football rankings. The Wolfpack soared as high as No. 10 during the season but fell off a bit after losing quarterback Devin Leary to injury.
"This is a great opportunity for us to play in front of Wolfpack Nation one more time this season," said Dave Doeren, NC State head coach, in a press release.
This is the 8th time in Doren's 10-year tenure that the Wolfpack have been invited to a bowl game. NC State holds a 3-3 bowl record under Doeren, excluding an invitation to the 2021 Holiday Bowl that the Wolfpack's opponent, UCLA, backed out of.
NC State is anchored by a top-notch defense that's finished as one of the top ACC teams in points and yards allowed.
Maryland finished the season with a 7-5 record after a strong start was thwarted by a bumpy close to the year. The Terrapins started 6-2 before three tough losses to Wisconsin, No. 14 Penn State, and No. 2 Ohio State left the team just above .500.
Starting quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is Maryland's biggest threat. Tagovailoa doubles as a passing and throwing threat and became the school's all-time passing touchdown leader during the season's final game.
“We’re thrilled to be selected to play in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl,” said Michael Locksley, Maryland's head coach. “Earning back-to-back bowl berths is another significant step for our program and I’m also excited for our seniors to have another chance to play in a big-time game.
While these two teams have not played each other since 2013, this is far from a rare meeting.
Maryland and NC State were founding members of the ACC in 1953 and played each other almost every year after that until the Terrapins left for the Big 10 in 2013. During their 70 meetings, the series is tied at 33-33-4 all-time, meaning the Duke Mayo Bowl will give one side the edge.
Charlotte has hosted the Duke's Mayo Bowl, previously known as the Meinke Car Care Bowl, Belk Bowl, and Continental Tire Bowl, since 2002. This will be the 15th time the game has featured at least one team from the Carolinas.
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