TAMPA, FL— The Tennessee Volunteers and Northwestern Wildcats will square-off in the 30th Anniversary Outback Bowl on January 1st in Tampa, bowl officials announced today. The Wildcats are 10-2 and ranked No. 13 in the College Football Playoff Rankings while the Volunteers are 8-4 and ranked No. 23. Both teams finished the season with five consecutive wins. It will be only the second time these teams have ever played and the first time since 1997.
“We are absolutely thrilled to extend an invitation to Northwestern University and the University of Tennessee to play in this year’s Outback Bowl,” said Outback Bowl Chairman Bill Cammarata. “These are two exciting teams that fans are going to enjoy watching on New Year’s Day. We look forward to hosting the Wildcat and Volunteer teams and their fans in our 30th anniversary game, and ensure them they will have an amazing experience in the Tampa Bay area.”
“We are very excited and looking forward to representing the University of Tennessee, the state of Tennessee and all of Vol Nation in the 30th Annual Outback Bowl,” said head coach Butch Jones. “This will be a great opportunity and challenge for our football program as we will be facing the 12th-ranked football team in the country in Northwestern."
“Our entire football family is thrilled for the opportunity to cap the 2015 campaign and kick off 2016 at the Outback Bowl,” said head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "We’re grateful for the opportunity to take the field one more time in what has been a special season for our student-athletes. The Wildcats last visit to Tampa was one of the most memorable games in Northwestern history, we’re looking forward to another unforgettable Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.
“This is a tremendous honor and opportunity for our student-athletes,” said Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips. “Their remarkable accomplishments in the classroom, in the community and in competition, makes the Northwestern family proud each day. On behalf of our University, I want to extend my sincere thanks to President & CEO Jim McVay, the entire selections committee, and Outback Steakhouse for this invitation. Wildcats across the country and around the world look forward to celebrating New Year’s Day together in Tampa.”
The Outback Bowl will be played on January 1st at 12:00 Noon ET at Raymond James Stadium. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster at (813) 287-8844 or 1-800-745-3000 and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at any Ticketmaster outlet in the state of Florida.
For information on the Outback Bowl, the Tampa Bay area, hotels, Raymond James Stadium and the Outback Bowl calendar of events visit our web site at www.outbackbowl.com.