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Brenden Welper | NCAA.com | December 30, 2019

California vs. Illinois: 2019 Redbox Bowl prediction, time, TV channel, preview

These are the must-watch bowl games (outside of CFP) in December

California (7-5) and Illinois (6-6) will square off in the 2019 Redbox Bowl. Find the game time, television info, preview and score prediction below.

Kickoff is at 4 p.m. ET today, Dec. 30 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. It will be televised on Fox and stream on Fox Sports Live.

California vs. Illinois: Redbox Bowl preview, prediction

The 2019 Redbox Bowl will be the 11th all-time meeting between the Golden Bears and Fighting Illini, and the first since 2005. Illinois leads the series 7-3, but California has won the last two.

The Golden Bears opened the season 4-0. A 20-19 victory over then-No. 14 Washington on Sept. 7 highlighted their fast start, and California soared up to No. 15 in the AP poll.

The Bears then dropped four straight and were out of the AP Top 25 for good. But they did manage to go 3-1 over their last four games. In doing so, California matched last season's win total. A victory over Illinois would be the best single-season total of head coach Justin Wilcox's three-year tenure.

BOWL CENTRAL: Complete bowl schedule, TV listings

The Illini also lost four in a row this season. That slide came after a 2-0 start, but the losing streak ended in dramatic fashion.

Illinois stunned then-No. 6 Wisconsin 24-23 on Oct. 19 to hand the Badgers their first loss of the season. It was the Illini's first win against a top-10 team since 2007 and it sparked a four-game winning streak.

They became bowl eligible after erasing a 25-point deficit against Michigan State to win 37-34 in East Lansing.

California vs. Illinois: Redbox Bowl prediction

While playing in eight games, California quarterback Chase Garbers has only thrown three interceptions this season. On the flip side, he has just 10 touchdown passes as scoring has been hard to come by for the Golden Bears.

They found the end zone just 30 times in the regular season.  

CONFERENCE COMPARISON: Tracking each conference through bowl season

The Fighting Illini, by comparison, have scored 42 touchdowns this year. They also average 5.4 more points per game than California. If they can hold the Golden Bears to under their season average (21.9 points per game), Illinois should capture its first bowl win since 2011.

The prediction: Illinois 24, California 10

california   illinois
7-5 (4-5 Pac-12) Record (Conference) 6-6 (4-5 Big Ten)
21.9 Points per game 27.3
22.1 Points allowed 25.4
323.0 Yards per game 319.4
190.8 Passing YPG 177.0
132.3 Rushing YPG 142.4
385.5 Yards allowed per game 409.6
262.4 Passing yards allowed 208.0
123.1 Rushing yards allowed 201.6
Chase Garbers
1,500 yards (10 TD, 3 INT)
Passing  Brandon Peters
1,611 yards (17 TD, 7 INT) 
Christopher Brown Jr.
794 yards (4.2 per att.), 8 TD
Rushing  Reggie Corbin
634 yards  (4.9 per att.), 6 TD
Nikko Remigio
477 yards, 2 TD
Receiving  Josh Imatorbhebhe
634 yards, 9 TD
Cameron Goode
51 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 1 FF
Defensive leader Jake Hansen
72 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 INT, 7 FF, 3 FR

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