This is it, Husker fans. The final game of the 2016 season is here and Nebraska is in Nashville, Tennessee, preparing to face the Tennessee Volunteers in the Music City Bowl. As the case with most bowl games, it’s not just about the actual matchup either. There are welcome events, opportunities to see the teams cut loose and plenty more. Whether you’re watching at home or in Nashville, what do you need to know about Nebraska and Tennessee?
We have your TV information, fun facts and plenty more to get you ready for game day in this week’s Tennessee-Nebraska cheat sheet.
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.
When: Friday, December 30, at 2:30 p.m. CT
Watch: ESPN (Tom Hart, Andre Ware, Cole Cubelic)
Listen: Husker Sports Network or Sirius Channel 80, XM 80
What do we know about the 2016 Nebraska football team? Better yet, can the Huskers defeat Tennessee in the Music City Bowl and end the season 10-3 (which would also be their best record in 13 years)? We’re breaking it all down in the the final episode of this season’s Hail Varsity No Huddle.
Special thanks to sponsor ReviewCloud for making it possible!
>> Nebraska and Tennessee have combined for 105 total bowl appearances. Of that, 53 belong to Nebraska and 52 to Tennessee.
>> This is the second straight year where the Huskers have appeared in a bowl game for the first time. Nebraska faced UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl in 2015.
>> The first time Nebraska faced an SEC opponent in a bowl game? That would be Auburn in the 1964 Orange Bowl. The Huskers won 13-7.
>> Since 2004, the Huskers have played 15 games in NFL stadiums. As for the record in those games, Nebraska is 7-8.
What They’re Saying
Head coach Mike Riley on balancing work and play for bowl games:
“Well, for sure, you get to this point in the year and the guys get done with finals. We just had our 14th practice today. You would like to… You come to a great city like this that’s pretty unique in our country so you’d like them to be able to see it and experience some of things that they can do. What I told them to start with is you have to learn to compartmentalize. You know? Go have fun, don’t do anything dumb, then be on time to everything. When we practice, we have to practice well because we want to win the game. We get all this nice bowl gear and no one will want to wear it unless we win the game. It’s definitely one of those things where you have to learn about balance and the kids have to do a good job as do the coaches.”
Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp on his recovery from a knee injury that has sidelined him:
“Got my stitches out today so the process is going along where it should be. I’m obviously not happy with the circumstances. I’d do anything to be out there practicing and playing in this game. It kills me not to be out there.”
Defensive coordinator Mark Banker on the size of Tennessee’s wide receivers:
“We’ve been using Miracle-Gro instead of Gatorade in between snacks and things like that. It is what is.”
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on playing the bowl game in Tennessee’s home state:
“There’s no challenge in getting up. We take great pride in the state of Tennessee and what we represent. We have a lot of players from the mid-state but it’s been a unique experience for our football team as well. We have to recruit nationally at Tennessee, just like Nebraska, so we have a lot of players where it’s really their first opportunity to enjoy Nashville. Our players are very proud of where they are from, particularly our Tennessee players.”
Must Watch: The video of Riley being an all-around nice guy.
Must Read: The story on the connection between the Huskers and the San Francisco 49ers.
Must See: The photos from the Music City Bowl official kickoff party. There was a chicken wing eating contest, song writing contest and karaoke. There was also a lot of food and fun.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.