2020-21 Bowl Lineup Announced
The 2020-21 bowl lineup is set! Orlando will host the No. 14 Northwestern Wildcats (6-1, 6-1 Big Ten) and the Auburn Tigers (6-4, 6-4 SEC) meet in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl on January 1, and the No. 18 Miami Hurricanes (8-2, 7-2 ACC) and the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3, 7-3 Big 12) square off in the Cheez-It Bowl on December 29.
Vrbo Citrus Bowl
The No. 14 Northwestern Wildcats (6-1, 6-1 Big Ten) and the Auburn Tigers (6-4, 6-4 SEC) will meet in the 2021 Vrbo Citrus Bowl. Florida Citrus Sports chairman Ken Robinson and CEO Steve Hogan announced the matchup today on behalf of the organization.
The 75th edition of the game will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 1 at Camping World Stadium and will be televised nationally by ABC. The game will mark the second ever meeting between the Wildcats and Tigers and the first since Auburn’s overtime victory over Northwestern at the 2010 Outback Bowl.
This season’s Vrbo Citrus Bowl will mark Auburn’s sixth appearance in the game, tied with Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Penn State for the most all-time. Auburn is 3-2 in its five previous trips, with the most recent coming in 2006. The Wildcats are making their second Vrbo Citrus Bowl appearance and their first since the 1997 game, a loss to a Peyton Manning-led Tennessee squad.
Northwestern ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 15.5 points per game. The Wildcats’ pass defense is also among the strongest in the country and has held opponents to 182.2 passing yards per game, good for 14th nationally. Linebackers Paddy Fisher and Blake Gallagher lead the Wildcats defense with 65 total tackles each on the season, while Brandon Joseph, the nation’s leader in interceptions with six, anchors the secondary.
Offensively, the Wildcats are paced by quarterback Peyton Ramsey who threw for 1,218 yards and nine touchdowns this year while also adding two rushing touchdowns. Drake Anderson (256 yards and two touchdowns) and Isiah Bowser (229 yards and one touchdown) lead the Wildcats rushing attack, while Kyrie McGowan (366 yards) and Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman (344 yards and four touchdowns) pace the Wildcats receiving corps.
The Auburn offense is led by quarterback Bo Nix, who ranks in the top 25 nationally and top five in the SEC in passing yards (2,123) and has 18 total touchdowns (11 passing, seven rushing) this season. Freshman standout Tank Bigsby is Auburn’s top-producing running back with 834 yards and five rushing scores, while Seth Williams (688 yards and four touchdowns) and Anthony Schwartz (636 yards and three touchdowns) lead the Tigers wideouts.
The Tigers enter this matchup allowing an average of 23.7 points and 400.9 total yards per game on the season and have held opposing offenses to just 163.1 rushing yards per game. Zakoby McClain leads the team with 102 tackles while linebackers Colby Wooden (9.5 tackles for loss, four sacks) and Derick Hall (five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks) have also had strong seasons.
The No. 18 Miami Hurricanes (8-2, 7-2 ACC) and the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3, 7–3 Big 12) will meet in the 2020 Cheez-It Bowl. Florida Citrus Sports chairman Ken Robinson and CEO Steve Hogan announced the matchup Sunday on behalf of the organization’s Team Selection Committee.
The 31st edition of the game will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at Camping World Stadium and will be televised nationally by ESPN.
This year’s Cheez-It Bowl will be the second all-time meeting between the Hurricanes and Cowboys; Miami defeated Oklahoma State in Coral Gables in October 1991. The game also marks a record sixth Cheez-It Bowl appearance for the Hurricanes, who are 3-2 in five previous trips. Miami’s most recent visit, in 2016, saw the ‘Canes defeat then-No. 14 West Virginia 31-14.
Oklahoma State returns to Orlando for its second Cheez-It Bowl appearance following a 30-21 win over then-No. 22 Virginia Tech in the 2017 game. The Cowboys also appeared in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl (now known as the Vrbo Citrus Bowl), where they defeated BYU 49-21.
The 2020 Cowboys boast a strong defense that comes in holding opponents to 22.4 points per game. The ‘Pokes lead the Big 12 and rank second nationally in third down defense (26.3 percent conversion rate) and are tied for the national lead with four defensive touchdowns on the season.
Oklahoma State also leads the conference and ranks eighth nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.4) and ranks 12th nationally in sacks per game (3.2). Offensively, the Cowboys are paced by the run game (194.7 rushing yards per game) and come in averaging 29.5 points per game.
The Cowboys will be tested by Miami quarterback D’Eriq King, who ranks third in the ACC in passing efficiency (151.8), with his 22 passing touchdowns good for 12th nationally. King ranks 16th nationally in total offense at 309.3 yards per game thanks to 520 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns on the season alongside running back Cam’Ron Harris (591 yards, nine touchdowns).
Miami’s defense has also been one of the nation’s best at getting into the backfield and ranks fourth nationally with 8.6 tackles for loss per game. The ‘Canes have recovered nine fumbles on the season (15th nationally) and allow an average of 26.0 points per game. On special teams, the Hurricanes have blocked three kicks, good for sixth nationally, and lead the country in net punting (44.98 yards).