For Navy, Liberty Bowl is home away from home

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The two teams competing in the Liberty Bowl — Navy and Kansas State — arrived in Memphis on Thursday.

For Navy, the Bluff City is almost a home away from home, and the team should enjoy a warm reception before next Tuesday’s game.

Aside from being a service school, the midshipmen have a lot going for them here in Memphis. They play here every other year against the Tigers, so they’re used to playing at the Liberty Bowl, and quietly, they have a large fan base in the area.

"There’s definitely a good amount of Navy fans out there. And that helps us a lot as a team, be motivated, something to look forward to out there, someone to play for," Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry said.

After rolling to a successful 10-2 season, Navy football is thrilled to keep the good times coming in a postseason bowl game, but Memphis is a particularly special location.

The site is located just 17 miles from the Millington naval base, and the Midshipmen have enjoyed more support than a typical road team.

Attendance for their games against the hometown Tigers have averaged over 44,000 across the last three matchups, a more than a 6% increase compared to other Memphis home games in that same span.

"I want our guys to enjoy themselves. I want them to enjoy the city of Memphis, and all the hospitality here.” head coach Ken Niumatalolo said.

The Liberty Bowl will kick off Tuesday at 2:45.

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