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UPDATED: IU football to play in Gator Bowl against Tennessee


Sophomore running back Ahrod Lloyd holds up the box the holds the Old Oaken Bucket on Nov. 30 at Ross-Ade Stadium. IU won back the Oaken Bucket and defeated Purdue in double overtime 44-41. Alex Deryn

IU will play in the 2020 Gator Bowl against University of Tennessee at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida.

The only prior meeting between IU and Tennessee was at the 1987-88 season’s Peach Bowl. The Volunteers, 8-2-1, were ranked No. 17 in the country while the Hoosiers, 8-2, were not ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll. Tennessee sealed the game with a go-ahead touchdown within  the game’s final two minutes to beat IU 27-22.

"Playing in the historic TaxSlayer Gator Bowl is a great opportunity for our team," Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass said in an IU Athletics press release. "Earning an invitation to our first ever Florida bowl game is a reflection of the hard work of our players and staff, and yet another remarkable achievement, in a season of remarkable achievements. We greatly look forward to bringing Hoosier Nation to Jacksonville, competing against a high-quality opponent in the Tennessee Volunteers, and having the opportunity to be TaxSlayer Gator Bowl champions."

The Hoosiers are after their first bowl win since the 1991 Copper Bowl, a 24-0 shutout win. 

IU’s last bowl appearance came in 2016, a 26-24 loss to then-No. 19 University of Utah in the Foster Farms Bowl.

This season was just the eighth ever in which the Hoosiers finished with at least five wins in Big Ten play. It’s also IU’s first eight-win season since 1993, but it’s bowl game represents a chance for the third nine-win season in school history. 

With a win over Tennessee, IU head coach Tom Allen would join Lee Corso and Bill Mallory as the only coaches in program history to lead a team to a bowl win. 

"We are thrilled to head to Florida for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl," Allen said in an IU Athletics press release. "It is a tremendous opportunity for our program and a great reward for our players. We have many young men from the southeast region of the country and they are looking forward to playing close to home."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said IU would face a different opponent in the Gator Bowl. The IDS regrets this error.

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