After completing the regular season 9-3, Nebraska officially knows its bowl game destination. The Huskers will face Tennessee in Nashville on Friday, Dec. 30 at 2:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Players started to react to the news quickly, including safety Kieron Williams.
Head coach Mike Riley also shared his thoughts on the bowl matchup, courtesy of a university release.
“We are excited about the invitation to complete the 2016 season in the Music City Bowl,” Riley said. “This is a great opportunity to finish our year in an outstanding bowl game and compete for a 10th win against an excellent Tennessee team. As a staff, we are looking forward to spending the additional practice time with this team and preparing for a strong performance. I know our players, coaches and fans will enjoy the trip to Nashville, and we anticipate a great week of activities and an excellent football game.”
This is the first time Nebraska has played in the Music City Bowl. It will also be the first time the two programs meet since the 2000 Fiesta Bowl. Nebraska won that game 31-21.
Nebraska and Tennessee were originally scheduled to play in 2016 and 2017, but the games were rescheduled for 2026 and 2027. Oregon ultimately took the place on Nebraska’s schedule left by Tennessee.
The Vols are 8-4 after the regular season, having lost three in a row in October. Against Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri specifically, the Vols allowed an average of 39.2 points per game.
The Huskers head to Nashville ranked No. 21 in the Coaches Poll and No. 24 in the AP Top 25. Tennessee is not ranked in either.
What do you think about Nebraska’s matchup with Tennessee in the Music City Bowl? Join the conversation over on the Hail Varsity forums.
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.