ACC Bowls Roundup: Clemson to CFP, UVA to Orange

acc networkDefending national champion Clemson returns to the College Football Playoff for the fifth consecutive year. Virginia will make its first New Year’s Six appearance.

These were the highlights from a Sunday that saw 10 ACC teams land bowl bids.

The five-time ACC Champion Tigers (13-0) are No. 3 in the CFP Top 25 poll and will face No. 2 Ohio State (13-0) in the CFP Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28.

If the Tigers advance past the Buckeyes, they will face No. 1 LSU (13-0) or No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) for the CFP National Championship at 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, in New Orleans.

Clemson is bidding for the program’s fourth national football championship and the fourth by an ACC team in the last seven seasons.

Both CFP semifinals and the national championship game will be carried live by ESPN.

Sunday also saw ACC Coastal Division Champion Virginia (9-4) accept an invitation to play Florida in the 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

That game is scheduled to kick off on Monday, Dec. 30, at 8 p.m. and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

The game will mark No. 24 Virginia’s first appearance in the Orange Bowl and first in any New Year’s Six game. It will be UVA’s 21st overall bowl appearance and third consecutive under fourth-year head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

No. 9 Florida is 10-2 and finished second in the SEC’s East Division.

Wake Forest (8-4) will be matched Big Ten representative Michigan State (6-6) in the New Pinstripe Bowl on Friday, Dec. 27, at New York’s Yankee Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN with kickoff at 3:20 p.m.

The Demon Deacons will be facing the Spartans for the first time in school history. Wake Forest will be making its school-record fourth consecutive bowl appearance under head coach Dave Clawson.

Virginia Tech (8-4) will face Kentucky (7-5) in the Belk Bowl at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina (ESPN). The contest will mark the first meeting between the two schools since 1987.

This year’s game will be Tech’s second trek to the Belk Bowl under head coach Justin Fuente. The Hokies completed the largest second-half comeback in school history in the 2016 Belk Bowl, rattling off 35 unanswered points for a 35-24 victory over Arkansas.

Louisville (7-5) has accepted a bid to play Mississippi State (6-6) in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday, Dec. 30, at Nissan Stadium. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

Pitt (7-5) is bound for Detroit and the Quick Lane Bowl versus Eastern Michigan (6-6) on Dec. 26 (8 p.m., ESPN). It marks Pitt’s 35th all-time bowl appearance and fourth under the direction of Coach Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers enter the postseason with a 7-5 overall record and can win eight games for the third time under Narduzzi.

Boston College (6-6) is headed to the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl and will face No. 21 Cincinnati (10-3). The game is set for Thursday, Jan. 2, at 3 p.m., at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Eagles are 14-12 all-time in bowl games. Last season’s First Responder Bowl in Dallas was cancelled due to inclement weather in the first quarter with BC leading No. 23 Boise State 7-0.

Florida State (6-6) will face Arizona State (7-5) in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday, Dec. 31 (2 p.m., CBS). The Seminoles will appear in the postseason for an NCAA-best 38th time in the last 40 seasons. The Seminoles will return to the Sun Bowl for the first time since 1966 and also played in the 1954 Sun Bowl, which was the second bowl appearance in program history.

Miami (6-6) will travel to the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl to take on Louisiana Tech (9-3) at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26 (ESPN). This marks the 43rd time in school history that the Hurricanes have competed in a bowl game and the seventh consecutive year.

North Carolina (6-6) has been selected to play in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman against Temple (8-4). Kickoff is noon on Friday, Dec. 27, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland (ESPN).

UNC will be making its first trip to the Military Bowl and will face Temple for the first time. The Tar Heels will play in their 34th bowl game and first since 2016.


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