NO. 17 WAKE FOREST TO PLAY NO. 25 TEXAS A&M
IN THE 77th TAXSLAYER GATOR BOWL ON NEW YEAR’S EVE
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Chairman John Duce and the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Board of Trustees announced today that No. 17 Wake Forest University will play No. 25 Texas A&M University in the 77th TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Friday, Dec. 31. The only previous meeting between the two teams was at the Belk Bowl in 2017.
“We are excited to welcome Wake Forest and Texas A&M to Jacksonville for the 77th Annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. It will be a tremendous matchup and we are honored to host these two top-notch teams and their players, coaches and fans in our city for a great week of activities celebrating both programs’ successful seasons,” said John Duce, Chairman of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
The 77th Annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl will be played on Friday, Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. on Bill Gay Grounds at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., and will be nationally televised on ESPN. Tickets and Bowl information are available online at www.taxslayergatorbowl.com.
“Like our customers, we at TaxSlayer are passionate about the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, and we’re excited to cheer on the Demon Deacons and Aggies as they go head-to-head in this historic game,” said Brian Rhodes, CEO of TaxSlayer.
Texas A&M is led by Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and enter the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl with an 8-4 record. The Aggies won four straight games from October 9 – November 6, a streak that was buoyed by two wins against top 15 opponents, including a last-second thriller over No. 1 Alabama. The Aggies’ offense is led by QB Zach Calzada, who threw for 2,185 yards and 17 TDs, and the running back tandem of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane who combined for 1,921 yards on the ground and 15 TDs. They will be making their third appearance in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl with their last appearance coming in 2018 in a victory over North Carolina State University.
“We are excited about going to Florida to play in the Gator Bowl,” said Fisher. “Wake Forest is an outstanding opponent, and our players will have the opportunity to play in another pro stadium. Our group of seniors will be looking to win their fourth consecutive bowl and we look forward to the challenge.”
Wake Forest is led by Head Coach Dave Clawson and QB Sam Hartman and enter the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl with a 10-3 record and an ACC Atlantic Division championship. This season, the Deacons held the highest AP Top 25 ranking in program history (No. 10) and recorded the best start to a season in school history (8-0). Hartman’s record-breaking season has earned him spots on multiple award watch lists, including the Maxwell Award, Johnny Unitas Gold Arm Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, among others. This will be their second appearance in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl having played in the inaugural game in 1946 in a victory over the University of South Carolina.
“I’m excited for our student-athletes who deserve to play in a Tier I bowl and the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl is a perfect fit for this team and our fans,” said Clawson. “The opportunity to play a tradition-rich SEC opponent like Texas A&M in a city where our program won an ACC Championship and played in the inaugural game for this historic bowl in 1946 will be outstanding. That week and game will cap this memorable season for our program.”