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SEC teams will be featured in Tampa's ReliaQuest and Gasparilla bowl games

Aerial view of Raymond James Stadium
City of Tampa
Raymond James Stadium will host both college football bowl games in the greater Tampa Bay region.

The ReliaQuest Bowl — formerly known as the Outback Bowl — features Mississippi State vs. Illinois, while the Gasparilla Bowl matches Missouri and Wake Forest.

We now know who will be playing in this year's college football bowl games.

Both of Tampa's bowls will feature teams from the Southeastern Conference.

Mississippi State and Illinois will meet for just the second time at the ReliaQuest Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.

Fresh off their 24-22 victory over rival Mississippi, the high-flying Bulldogs will make their 13th consecutive bowl appearance. They feature one of the nation's top passers in Will Rogers, who has thrown for 10,428 yards and 81 touchdowns.

The Illini are making their 20th postseason appearance and first since 2019. They ranked in the top 10 in 17 defensive categories under coach Brett Bielema and picked off a nation-leading 22 passes this season.

The teams have split two meetings, with MSU winning most recently in 1980.

Wake Forest and Missouri will square off the first time at the Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.

The Demon Deacons stumbled down the stretch with four losses in five games, but feature the ACC's No. 2 quarterback in Sam Hartman, who threw for more than 3,400 yards with 35 touchdowns.

The Tigers picked things up in the season's second half by winning four of six and beating border rival Arkansas in the finale.

Mizzou enters with the SEC's No. 4 defense overall and against the run.

Wake Forest is making its seventh consecutive bowl appearance.

ReliaQuest Bowl

Logo shows a large football between two palm trees
Courtesy: ReliaQuest Bowl

No. 22 Mississippi State (8-4, SEC) vs. Illinois (8-4, Big Ten), Jan. 2, noon, ESPN2 [Purchase tickets]

LOCATION: Raymond James Stadium

TOP PLAYERS: Mississippi State: QB Will Rogers is the school's career passing leader with 10,428 yards and 81 touchdowns and surpassed Dak Prescott in both categories this season. The junior is also the SEC career completions leader with 1,130. Illinois: Devon Witherspoon was named Big Ten defensive back of the year after recording 41 tackles, three interceptions, 14 pass breakups and a nearly 34% interception rate.

NOTABLE: Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have eight wins for the first time since 2018. It's their highest total under third-year coach Mike Leach. MSU has also beaten seven teams ranked in the Top 25 under “The Pirate,” all while unranked. They rank 11th in passing offense at 314.3 yards per game. Illinois: The Illini feature one of the nation's top defenses and led with 22 interceptions. They allowed just 12.3 points per game (second) and third in yardage (263.8). They battled then-No. 3 Michigan before losing 19-17 to the eventual conference champion.

LAST TIME: Mississippi State 28, Illinois 21, Oct. 4, 1980.

BOWL HISTORY: Mississippi State: The Bulldogs are 14-11 all-time and 7-5 during its current postseason run. Illinois: The Illini are 8-11 in bowls and have dropped their last two appearances, most recently in 2019 to California in the Redbox Bowl (35-20). It's their second berth in the bowl, previously known as the Hall of Fame and Outback bowls.

Gasparilla Bowl

Wake Forest (7-5, ACC) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. [Purchase tickets]

LOCATION: Raymond James Stadium

TOP PLAYERS: Wake Forest: QB Sam Hartman ranked second among ACC passers with 3,421 yards and tied for first with 35 touchdowns despite missing a game because of injury. He completed 63% of his attempts and tossed just 11 interceptions. Missouri: DL Isaiah McGuire tied for fourth in the SEC with seven sacks, including two in the regular season finale against Arkansas. He had 39 tackles, including 24 solo stops.

NOTABLE: Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons struggled down the stretch, losing four of five after reaching No. 10 in the AP Top 25 on Oct. 23. Missouri: The Tigers won four of their final six games to become bowl eligible. They ranked fourth in SEC total defense (337.1 yards per game) and were fourth against the run (127.2).

LAST TIME: First meeting.

BOWL HISTORY: Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are 10-6 lifetime. They are making their seventh consecutive bowl appearance and first in the Gasparilla Bowl. They topped Rutgers 38-10 in last year’s Gator Bowl. Missouri: The Tigers are making their fourth bowl appearance in six seasons. They are 15-19 lifetime, including a 24-22 loss to Army last season in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2022-23 Bowl Lineup

Friday, Dec. 16:

Bahamas Bowl: Miami (Ohio) vs. UAB, 11:30 a.m., Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Bahamas (ESPN)

Cure Bowl: No. 24 Troy vs. No. 25 UTSA, 3 p.m., Exploria Stadium in Orlando (ESPN)

Saturday, Dec. 17:

Fenway Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Louisville, 11 a.m., Fenway Park in Boston (ESPN)

Celebration Bowl: Jackson State vs. N.C. Central, 12 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (ABC)

New Mexico Bowl: SMU vs. BYU, 2:15 p.m., University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico (ESPN)

LA Bowl: Washington State vs. Fresno State, 3:30 p.m., SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California (ABC)

LendingTree Bowl: Rice vs. Southern Mississippi, 5:45 p.m., Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama (ESPN)

Las Vegas Bowl: No. 14 Oregon State vs. Florida, 7:30 p.m., Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada (ABC)

Frisco Bowl: Boise State vs. North Texas, 9:15 p.m., Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas

Monday, Dec. 19:

Myrtle Beach Bowl: Marshall vs. UConn, 2:30 p.m., Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina (ESPN)

Tuesday, Dec. 20:

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. San Jose State, Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Boca Raton Bowl: Liberty vs. Toledo, 7:30 p.m., FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida (ESPN)

Wednesday, Dec. 21:

New Orleans Bowl: South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky, 9 p.m., Caesars Superdome in New Orleans (ESPN)

Thursday, Dec. 22:

Armed Forces Bowl: Baylor vs. Air Force, 7:30 p.m., Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas (ESPN)

Friday, Dec. 23:

Gasparilla Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Missouri, 6 p.m., Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (ESPN)

Independence Bowl: Houston vs. Louisiana, 3 p.m., Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana (ESPN)

Saturday, Dec. 24:

Hawai'i Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m., Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex in Honolulu, Hawai'i (ESPN)

Monday, Dec. 26:

Quick Lane Bowl: Bowling Green vs. New Mexico State, 2:30 p.m., Ford Field in Detroit (ESPN)

Tuesday, Dec. 27:

First Responder Bowl, Memphis vs. Utah State, 3:15 p.m., Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas (ESPN)

Birmingham Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. East Carolina, 6:45 p.m., Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama (ESPN)

Camellia Bowl: Buffalo vs. Georgia Southern, Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama (ESPN)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Wisconsin, 10:15 p.m., Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona (ESPN)

Wednesday, Dec. 28:

Military Bowl: Duke vs. UCF, 2 p.m., Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland (ESPN)

Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas, 5:30 p.m., Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee (ESPN)

Holiday Bowl: No. 15 Oregon vs. North Carolina, 8 p.m., Petco Park in San Diego (FOX)

Texas Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss, 9 p.m., NRG Stadium in Houston (ESPN)

Thursday, Dec. 29:

Pinstripe Bowl: Minnesota vs. Syracuse, 2 p.m., Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City (ESPN)

Cheez-It Bowl: No. 13 Florida State vs. Oklahoma, 5:30 p.m., Camping World Stadium in Orlando (ESPN)

Alamo Bowl: No. 12 Washington vs. No. 20 Texas, 9 p.m., Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (ESPN)

Friday, Dec. 30:

Orange Bowl: No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 7 Clemson, 8 p.m., Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (ESPN)

Duke's Mayo Bowl: No. 23 NC State vs. Maryland, 12 p.m., Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina (ESPN)

Sun Bowl: No. 18 UCLA vs. Pitt, 2 p.m., Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas (CBS)

Gator Bowl: No. 19 South Carolina vs. No. 21 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m., TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville (ESPN)

Arizona Bowl: Ohio vs. Wyoming, 4:30 p.m., Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona (Barstool)

Saturday, Dec. 31:

Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal): No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU
4 p.m., State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (ESPN)

Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal): No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Ohio State
8 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (ESPN)

Music City Bowl: Iowa vs. Kentucky, 12 p.m., Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee (ABC)

Sugar Bowl: No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 9 Kansas State, 12 p.m., Caesars Superdome in New Orleans (ESPN)

Monday, Jan. 2:

ReliaQuest Bowl: No. 22 Mississippi State vs. Illinois, 12 p.m., Raymond James Stadium (ESPN2)

Citrus Bowl: No. 17 LSU vs. Purdue, 1 p.m., Camping World Stadium in Orlando (ABC)

Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 10 USC vs. No. 16 Tulane, 1 p.m., AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (ESPN)

Rose Bowl Game: No. 8 Utah vs. No. 11 Penn State, 5 p.m., Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California (ESPN)

Monday, Jan. 9:

College Football Playoff National Championship Game, 7:30 p.m., SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California (ESPN)

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