PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -Rutgers has accepted a bid to play in the International Bowl, marking the third consecutive season the Scarlet Knights will play in a bowl game after a nearly three-decade drought.
Rutgers, which had a 7-4 record going into Thursday night's game at Louisville, will play a team from the Mid-American Conference, most likely Ball State. The Cardinals earned a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division title with a 27-21 victory over Northern Illinois last Saturday.
The second International Bowl will be played on Jan. 5 at Toronto's Rogers Centre. Cincinnati won the inaugural game in January, defeating Western Michigan 27-24.
``We're thrilled to accept this invitation to play in the International Bowl and I know our team is excited about the opportunity to play in a bowl game for the third consecutive year,'' said Rutgers athletic director Robert E. Mulcahy III.
Last year, Rutgers won the first bowl game in the program's 137-year history, defeating Kansas State 37-10 in the Texas Bowl. The previous year the Scarlet Knights lost 45-40 to Arizona State in the Insight Bowl.
The program's only other appearance in a bowl game was in 1978.
Rutgers had high hopes entering this season after finishing 11-2 a year ago and missing a BCS berth only after a triple-overtime loss to West Virginia. But consecutive losses to Maryland and Cincinnati in October knocked the Scarlet Knights out of the Top 25.
Subsequent losses to West Virginia and Connecticut dashed any hopes of a Big East title.

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