Army Black Knights accept invitation to Independence Bowl

Army has accepted an invitation to the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, becoming the first team to secure a bowl bid this season, according to a news release Saturday.

It will be the Black Knights' first trip to Shreveport, Louisiana, since 1996. Army will face an opponent from the Pac-12, which begins its truncated season on Nov. 7.

"We want to thank the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, Chairman Frank Auer and the entire bowl committee for this incredible opportunity to play in this outstanding bowl game," Army athletic director Mike Buddie said in a statement. "We are very excited to accept the first bowl invitation of the 2020-2021 season and to make our first trip to Shreveport since 1996."

The Black Knights improved to 6-1 with a 49-3 win over the Mercer Bears on Saturday. Army has five games remaining. The Independence Bowl will be their fourth bowl game in seven seasons under coach Jeff Monken, and their fourth in the past five years.

"We are absolutely delighted to extend a bowl invitation to the Army West Point Black Knights football team," Auer said in the news release. "The Independence Bowl celebrates the independence and freedoms we enjoy in America, and we are well aware that those freedoms are protected by our Army and the other armed forces. We deeply appreciate the role they play in our national landscape and will roll out the red carpet for them for their trip to Shreveport."

This year is the first of three primary tie-ins with Army and the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl over the next six years, as the bowl and university reached an agreement for a primary tie-in for 2020, 2022 and 2024.

Army has only one previous Independence Bowl appearance in the program's history, a 32-29 loss to Auburn in 1996. The Black Knights are off to their best start since they began that historic 1996 season with nine consecutive victories.

This season is the 45th anniversary of the Independence Bowl, and the game will be broadcast on an ESPN network for the 29th consecutive year. ESPN and the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl recently announced a six-year extension to televise the game from 2020 through 2025. The date and time of the 2020 game will be announced at a later date.