No. 24 Nebraska, Tennessee look to finish well in Music City
No. 24 Nebraska (9-3, Big Ten) vs. Tennessee (8-4, SEC), 3:30 p.m. EST (ESPN), in Nashville, Tennessee.
Line: Tennessee by 6 +.
Series Record: Nebraska leads 2-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE:
Nebraska can finish off an impressive turnaround in coach Mike Riley's second season and assure the Cornhuskers of staying in the Top 25 going into the offseason. Tennessee can salvage a season that started off with such high promise and ease the painful memories of the Volunteers' last trip to Nashville.
Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett against Nebraska's offensive line. The Cornhuskers have allowed only 11 sacks this season, fewest in the Big Ten and tied for sixth-fewest in the nation. Barnett has 12 sacks this season and has tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White's school record with 32 career sacks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nebraska: QB Ryker Fyfe. The fifth-year senior and former walk-on is headed for his second start this season with Tommy Armstrong Jr. not practicing early this week with an injured hamstring. Fyfe threw for 220 yards and a touchdown in a 28-7 win over Maryland on Nov. 19, but broke his left wrist in the third quarter. Fyfe had surgery the next day. He has thrown for 315 yards and two TDs this season with one interception.
Tennessee: QB Joshua Dobbs. The senior has a career-best and SEC-high 26 touchdown passes this season. He also has caught a TD pass and has nine TDs rushing making him responsible for 216 points, best in the SEC and 12th in FBS.
FACTS & FIGURES
Nebraska and Tennessee have 105 combined bowl appearances, the most for any 2016 bowl game. ... Nebraska is tied with Texas with 53 bowls, trailing only Alabama (63). The Cornhuskers are 26-26 all-time and won last bowl. ... Tennessee is making its 52nd bowl appearance all-time, tied with Georgia for fourth-most among FBS programs. Vols are 27-24 all-time and have won two straight. Vols looking for third straight bowl win, which would be first since 1994-1996 with Peyton Manning. ... Nebraska and Tennessee were ranked in top six nationally in each of previous bowl games, and Cornhuskers' win in 1998 Orange Bowl landed share of national title. ... The Vols lost 30-27 in double overtime to North Carolina in 2010 Music City Bowl. ... Nebraska ranked 22nd nationally averaging 32 minutes, 28 seconds time of possession per game. ... Nebraska lost 13 turnovers, 12th nationally. ... Tennessee ranks 28th nationally inside opponent's 20, scoring 88.9 percent.
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