football-fbs flag | December 29, 2018

College football bowl schedule: Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl previews and how to watch every game Saturday

Clemson vs. Notre Dame: Which undefeated squad moves on?

Here is the complete college football bowl schedule, times and previews for all five games on Saturday, Dec. 29.

The Peach Bowl, Belk Bowl and Arizona Bowl are all scheduled for Saturday afternoon while the two College Football Playoff semifinal games cap off the busy day. Undefeated powers Clemson and Notre Dame will play in the Orange Bowl, and Alabama will face Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.

MORE: Complete bowl schedule, TV listings | Tracking every conference's record this bowl season


Florida (9-3) vs. Michigan (10-2) | Live stats

Noon ET, ESPN at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.

Series record: Michigan leads 4-0.

What's at stake

Michigan can become the 10th team in school history, and the first since 2011, to win at least 11 games. The Wolverines are looking to beat the Gators for the second straight season. Florida can complete a dramatic turnaround under first-year coach Dan Mullen from a 4-7 finish in 2017. The Gators are looking for their third win over a ranked team this season.

Key matchup

Michigan linebacker Devin Bush vs. Florida running back Lamical Perine. Michigan leads the nation in total defense, allowing only 262.5 yards per game, and ranks No. 2 against the pass. Bush leads the unit with 80 tackles and had five sacks. The Gators used explosive big plays, including a 74-yard scoring run by Perine, to finish with 536 yards in a 41-14 rout of Florida State to close the regular season. Florida scored 34.5 points per game as Perine and Jordan Scarlett led a balanced rushing attack.

RELATED: Peach Bowl preview and predictions | Key matchups and players to watch

Players to watch

Florida: Quarterback Feleipe Franks’ 23 touchdown passes is the high mark for the Gators since Tim Tebow’s 30 in 2008. Franks had four games with at least three scoring passes. Franks threw only six interceptions while passing for 2,284 yards.

Michigan: Junior Chris Evans is in the spotlight as the most experienced running back available. Perhaps the most difficult to replace of four draft-eligible players skipping the game is top rusher Karan Higdon, who ran for 1,178 yards and 10 touchdowns. Evans was second with 403 yards.

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Facts & figures

Peach Bowl will host a College Football Playoff semifinal next season, on Dec. 28, 2019. ... Michigan beat Florida 41-7 in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2016 and then beat the Gators in another rout, 33-17, to open the 2017 season. ... Florida has wins over No. 5 LSU and No. 23 Mississippi State this season. ... Florida is 0-2 in the Peach Bowl, losing to West Virginia in 1981 and Miami in 2004. ... Michigan is playing in its first Peach Bowl. The Big Ten is 2-5 in the bowl. ... The last Big Ten team to play in the Peach Bowl was Indiana, which lost to Auburn 27-24 in 1990. ... Florida coach Dan Mullen replaced Jim McElwain, who was the Wolverines receivers coach this season before recently taking the job as Central Michigan’s new coach. McElwain is not with Michigan for the bowl game. ... Michigan defense is looking to atone for giving up 567 yards in a crushing 62-39 loss to Ohio State to close the regular season, ending the Wolverines’ playoff hopes.


South Carolina (7-5) vs. Virginia (7-5) | Live stats

Noon ET, ABC at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Series record: South Carolina leads 20-13-1

What's at stake

The Gamecocks make their third straight bowl game appearance. They beat Michigan 26-19 in the Outback Bowl last season. The Cavaliers look to avenge last year's 49-7 loss to Navy in the Military Bowl.

Key matchup

South Carolina QB Jake Bentley is closing in on 3,000 yards passing — with 510 of those coming against No. 2 Clemson. He threw for 27 TDs this season with 12 interceptions. He faces a Virginia defense that ranks 14th in the nation against the pass and is allowing less than 22 points per game.

RELATED: Belk Bowl preview and predictions

Players to watch

South Carolina: WR Bryan Edwards. With WR Deebo Samuel sitting out the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft, the Gamecocks are expected to lean on Edwards. He had three 100-yard receiving games and is second on the team with 52 receptions for 809 yards and seven TDs.

Virginia: QB Bryce Perkins. The Arizona Western Community College transfer has been a pleasant surprise, setting a school record for total offense with 3,314 yards. He threw for 2,472 yards with 22 touchdowns and ran for 842 yards and nine scores.

Facts & figures

Teams were once in same conference in Atlantic Coast Conference, but haven't played since 2003 .... Gamecocks eclipsed 500 yards of offense in five games this season. ... South Carolina QB Jake Bentley has 16 TDs passing and four interceptions in last five games. ... Bentley has nine completions of 50-plus yards in last six games. ... Gamecocks offensive line allowed 20 sacks in 2018, fewest since 2003. ... South Carolina has only six interceptions, three by CB Rashad Fenton. ...... Virginia played in first two Belk Bowls (2002 and 2003) and won both. ... Virginia QB Bryce Perkins' brother Paul Perkins plays RB for NFL's New York Giants. ... RB Jordan Ellis led Cavaliers in rushing with 931 yards with nine TDs.... HB Olamide Zaccheaus needs five receptions to break own single-season school record of 85. ... Virginia DE Bryce Hall leads the nation with 20 pass breakups.


Arkansas State (8-4) vs. Nevada (7-5) Live stats

1:15 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network at Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.

Series record: Nevada leads 3-2.

What's at stake

Arkansas State, playing in its school-record eighth straight bowl, is looking to win in the postseason for the second time in its last five appearances. Nevada is seeking its first bowl win since the inaugural Arizona Bowl in 2015 and end the season on a high note after losing to rival UNLV.

Key matchup

Nevada’s defensive front vs. Arkansas State’s run game. The Wolf Pack are adept at getting to the quarterback, finishing the regular season with 32 sacks, and Arkansas State has a prolific passing game behind Justice Hansen. Even so, the Red Wolves run more than they pass and have three running backs with at least 396 yards rushing, led by Marcel Murray’s 793.

Players to watch

Arkansas State: Hansen. The Sun Belt Conference’s offensive player of the year has thrown for 3,172 yards and 27 TDs with six interceptions this season. He has completed 67 percent of his passes and will be key to preventing Nevada from going all out against the run.

Nevada: WR Kaleb Fossum. The Wolf Pack lost their top receiver when McLane Mannix opted to transfer before the bowl game. That should mean more balls to Fossum, who had a team-leading 69 receptions for 725 yards and a touchdown.

Facts & figures

Arkansas State has allowed minus-15 yards in punt returns, on pace to break the NCAA record of minus-9 by TCU in 2014. ... Nevada QB Ty Gangi has thrown for 3,131 yards and 23 TDs with 11 interceptions. ... The Red Wolves will be playing their first game in Arizona. .... The Wolf Pack beat Colorado State 28-23 in the inaugural Arizona Bowl in 2015. Nevada has 19 current players who played in that game. ... Arkansas State averages 463.5 yards per game, 21st nationally.


Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Clemson (13-0) | Live stats

4 p.m. ET, ESPN at Cotton Bowl, Arlington, Texas

Series record: Clemson leads 2-1.

What's at stake

A spot in the College Football Playoff national championship game. Clemson will try to get into the title game for the third time in four years — the Tigers beat Alabama for the 2016 national championship after losing to the Crimson Tide in 2015. Notre Dame, playing in its first CFP semifinal game, will try to reach 13 wins for the first time in program history. The Fighting Irish last played for the national championship in 2012. They last won it in 1988.

MORE: 2018 Cotton Bowl full preview and predictions

Key matchup

Clemson freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence against Notre Dame's pass defense with All-America cornerback Julian Love and safety Alohi Gilman. The Irish have allowed only 198 yards passing per game and seven touchdowns passes — only two TDs in the past six games. Lawrence, who became the starter in the fifth game, has thrown for 2,606 yards and an ACC high 24 TDs with only four interceptions.

Players to watch

Notre Dame: Ian Book is 8-0 as Notre Dame's starting quarterback, with at least two TDs in each of those games, since taking over that role in mid-September. Book has completed 70 percent of his passes (197 of 280) for 2,468 yards with 19 TDs and six interceptions.

Clemson: Senior Albert Huggins and sophomore Nyles Pinckney, the players taking on bigger roles with 6-foot-4, 350-pound All-America defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence out because of an NCAA suspension for a failed test for performance-enhancing drugs. Huggins and Pinckney both have 24 tackles — Huggins in 307 defensive snaps and Pinckney in 285 snaps. Lawrence has 44 tackles in 460 snaps.

Facts & figures

This will be the eighth Cotton Bowl appearance for the Irish, who haven't played in any other bowl game more often. They are 5-2 in the Cotton Bowl. ... Notre Dame senior RB Dexter Williams is only 59 yards away from a 1,000-yard rushing season. He also has 12 rushing TDs after playing only eight games. ... Clemson and Notre Dame both have 13-game winning streaks. Only Central Florida (25) and Alabama (15) have longer active streaks. ... The Tigers average 6.75 yards per carry, and allow only 2.4 yards per rush on defense. They lead the nation in both categories — something that hasn't been done the last 10 years.


No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) | Live stats

8 p.m. ET, ESPN at the Orange Bowl, Miami, Fla.

Series record: Oklahoma, 3-1-1.

Alabama vs. Oklahoma: Who has the edge?

What's at stake

The winner goes to the national championship game in Santa Clara, California on Jan. 7 against either No. 2 Clemson or No. 3 Notre Dame.

RELATED: Orange Bowl preview, prediction and everything you need to know

Key matchup

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa vs. Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray. It's Tagovailoa vs. Murray — for real, not the Tagovailoa vs. Kyler Murray quarterback matchup which is fun to talk about except for the fact that one will exert absolutely no influence over the other. For Oklahoma to be successful, Kenneth Murray (who enters this game with a whopping 140 tackles) is probably going to have make the Alabama QB think about where he's at more than a few times.

Players to watch

Alabama: WR Jerry Jeudy was picked as the nation's best receiver in 2018, and the South Florida native will surely be amped for this.

Oklahoma: K/P Austin Seibert is a touchback machine on kickoffs and has been automatic on placekicks. The Sooners can't have empty drives against Alabama, so Seibert's number might get called often.

Facts & figures

The last time Oklahoma was this big of an underdog was Jan. 2, 2014, when the Sooners were getting 17 points from oddsmakers going into the Sugar Bowl — against Alabama. The Sooners won 45-31. ... Oklahoma is 12-7 in past Orange Bowls. Alabama is 4-4. ... Over the last 10 seasons, Alabama has spent more weeks as the nation's No. 1 team (82) than the rest of the teams in the country combined (79). ... Kyler Murray is going to try to buck a trend. The last three Oklahoma quarterbacks to win the Heisman Trophy — Jason White in 2003, Sam Bradford in 2008 and Baker Mayfield last year — saw their teams lose in the ensuing bowl game. ... Alabama's senior class already has 54 wins, an NCAA record; the previous mark was 53, set by the 2017 senior class at Alabama.

Previews by the Associated Press.

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