NC State (9-3) vs Texas A&M (8-4)
Date/Time: Monday, December 31st at 6:30 pm CT
Location: TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL
Conference tie-ins: SEC, Big 10, ACC
Last year’s result: Mississippi State defeated Louisville 31-27
NC State bowl history
NC State 17-13-1 all-time in their bowl history, including a 52-31 victory over Arizona State in last year’s Sun Bowl
The Wolfpack are appearing in their fourth Gator Bowl. They are 1-2 in their previous three appearances. They lost to Oklahoma in 1947 and Florida in 1992 while beating Notre Dame in 2003.
NC State has gone 9-4 in bowl games since 2000.
Texas A&M bowl history
The Aggies are 17-22 overall in their bowl history, including a 55-52 loss to Wake Forest in last season’s Belk Bowl.
This is the second Gator Bowl appearance for Texas A&M. The Bear Bryant led Aggies lost 3-0 to Tennessee in 1957.
Since joining the SEC, A&M is 3-3 in bowl games (lost three straight). During their Big 12 days, they only went 2-9 after going 12-10 as a member of the Southwest Conference.
The Gator Bowl will be the
Key player to watch for each team
NC State: Quarterback – Ryan Finley
Texas A&M: Linebacker – Otaro Alaka
Unfortunately, two key players for NC State, wide receiver Kelvin Harmon along with linebacker Germaine Pratt are skipping the Gator Bowl. However, quarterback Ryan Finley, who passed for 3,789 yards with 24 touchdowns this season, is playing. Additionally, 1,000-yard receiver Jakobi Meyers along with running backs Reggie Gallaspy and Ricky Person still make this a dangerous offense to contend with. Pratt being out obviously significantly impacts a defense that only ranks 55th in the country to begin with.
Quarterback Kellen Mond and star running back
On paper, the Gator Bowl feels like a close matchup, pitting two very good offenses against two middle of the road defenses. NC State has enough offensive weapons to overcome the loss of Harmon, however, losing Pratt is a big deal for the defense. With all of that being said, this should still be a fun Gator Bowl.
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