Outback Bowl Game Preview

By EFN Staff
Published: 12/29/2015

Northwestern Wildcats (10-2) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (8-4)

Bowl Game: Outback Bowl
Kickoff Time: Friday, January 1, 12:00 PM
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

The Northwestern Wildcats return to postseason play for the first time since 2012 seeking just the third bowl victory in school history. Tennessee has made steady progress under head coach Butch Jones, from five wins in 2013 to eight this season, and the Volunteers make their second straight bowl appearance against a Big Ten team, having beaten Iowa in the Tax Slayer Bowl last year.

Players to watch
  • Wildcats linebacker Anthony Walker led the team with 113 tackles while posting three sacks, one interception, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
  • Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs threw for 2,125 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also rushing for 623 yards and nine scores.

Key Stats

  • Northwestern ranks seventh in the FBS in scoring defense, giving up only 16.4 points per game with two shutouts this season.
  • The only previous meeting between these two teams came in the 1997 Citrus Bowl, with Tennessee winning 48-28.
  • The Wildcats’ 2-9 record in bowl games is the worst among FBS teams with at least 10 appearances.
  • Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd rushed for 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, leading the team in both categories.
  • Only two FBS teams, Georgia Southern and New Mexico, threw fewer touchdown passes than Northwestern (eight) this season.
  • The Volunteers are 26-24 all-time in bowl games.


  • Northwestern cornerback Nick VanHoose is not expected to play due to a finger injury.