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Outback 'will be great thing,' says Auburn AD Jay Jacobs
Dec. 8, 2014

SammieCoates
Sammie Coates and the fans enjoy a Tiger Walk. Next stop: Florida

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala.  Athletics Director Jay Jacobs says Auburn demonstrated again it is an attractive post-season team by winning a date in a New Year's Day bowl game in Florida despite an uneven regular season.

Auburn will play Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl in Tampa on Jan. 1 and Jacobs said Sunday the trip is a fitting reward for the players. Coach Gus Malzahn said Sunday he'll have a new defensive coordinator "in the near future" who could help prepare for the game.

The SEC played a role in the bowl assignments, and the league had to adjust Sunday when both Ole Miss and Mississippi State each won spots in the New Year's Six Bowls along with Alabama. In all, 12 SEC teams are in bowls.

"The Outback Bowl picked us, and we're happy to be there," Jacobs said. "It will be a great thing for our young players to get extra practice time, and a great way for our seniors to go out with a victory on Jan. 1 in Florida.

"We're proud of what we accomplished and, even though we had disappointing losses, we're going to Florida to a bowl game is great."

The Outback, with a contractual obligation to take an SEC team and a Big Ten team, took Wisconsin, the league's runner-up, to face Auburn.

This is only the third time an SEC West team has won a spot in the Outback Bowl in the last 18 years. The Tigers played there at the end of the 2009 season and LSU played there last season.

"We were attractive from our previous trip there in '09," Jacobs said.  "We appreciate the SEC for our recognizing our record and schedule."

Auburn will take an 8-4 record to Tampa. Wisconsin is 10-3, and was last seen playing in the Big Ten title game against Ohio State on Saturday night. The Buckeyes won 59-0.

The Outback will feature two of the best running backs in the country in Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, who leads the NCAA in rushing; and Auburn's Cameron Artis-Payne, who leads the SEC in rushing.

Before they meet, Malzahn said he wants to spend the bowl preparation on campus working with young players.

"That is a big part, especially before you go to the bowl site," Malzahn said. "I think that's one of the big advantage bowl teams have, to get a chance to get the young guys some extra work, fundamental work."

Malzahn didn't announce his practice schedule. He and Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen will take part in a ceremonial signing of the bowl contract Thursday in Tampa. The first bowl function for the teams is Dec. 26th.

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Tickets are $80 for stadium seating and $170 for club level and may be purchased through the Auburn Ticket Office on the Internet or by calling 1-855-282-2010. All seating assignments will be based on Tigers Unlimited Priority. For the best seats, fans are encouraged to place orders through the Auburn Athletic Department. Additional information is here.
 
Auburn students can purchase tickets for $80 by through the Auburn Ticket Office via the Internet  or by calling 1-855-282-2010.

SEC in the bowls
Dec. 27, Independence, South Carolina vs. Miami
Dec. 29, Texas, Arkansas vs. Texas
Dec. 29, Liberty, Texas A&M vs. West Virginia
Dec. 30, Belk, Georgia vs. Louisville
Dec. 30, Music City, LSU vs. Notre Dame
Dec. 31, Orange, Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech
Dec. 31, Peach, Ole Miss vs. TCU
Jan. 1, Outback, Auburn vs. Wisconsin
Jan. 1, Citrus, Missouri vs. Minnesota
Jan. 1, Sugar, Alabama vs. Ohio State
Jan. 2, TaxSlayer, Tennessee vs. Iowa
Jan. 3, Birmingham, Florida vs. East Carolina

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:

 

 

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