2015 TaxSlayer Bowl, Iowa vs. Tennessee: Date, time, location and more
The Gator Bowl is no more. Long live the Gator Bowl.
Fun fact! The Gator Bowl is not played at the home of the Florida Gators, in Gainesville. It is played in Jacksonville, and is one of the oldest bowl games still running. This year, we’ll see Iowa and Tennessee, two teams that don’t usually score a lot of points.
Started in 1946, the Gator Bowl was the first college bowl televised nationally. It has gone through a litany of sponsors — Mazda, Outback Steakhouse, Toyota and Progressive are among the companies who have seen their names title the bowl — and TaxSlayer.com has owned the naming rights for the game since 2012. Previously the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, the name has been changed this year to simply the TaxSlayer Bowl.
The game has matched up teams from the SEC and the Big Ten since 2011, previously hosting teams from the ACC, Big East and Big 12.
Date and time, ET: Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, 3:20 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Jacksonville, Fla.
Stadium: EverBank Field (84,000 capacity)
Last year’s score: Nebraska 24, Georgia 19
Last year’s attendance: 60,712
Last year’s TV rating: 2.6
Last year’s payout for each school: $3,500,000
Team with the most all-time appearances: Florida and Clemson, each tied with nine
Team with the most all-time wins: Florida, seven
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten)
What looked like a promising season, with a bevy of offensive talent and an accommodating schedule, has turned into another mediocre affair for the Hawkeyes. Star LT Brandon Scherff won the Big Ten offensive lineman of the year award, but inconsistency across the rest of the line and at quarterback doomed Iowa to several losses and non-factor status in a Big Ten West that once seemed up for grabs.
Still, Iowa’s defense turned in a strong season, bolstered by a defensive line that boasts two NFL talents in Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat at DT (both second team All-Big Ten) plus honorable mention DE Drew Ott, whose future is bright.
Last bowl game: 2013 Outback Bowl vs. LSU, 21-14 loss
All-time bowl record: 14-12-1
Head coach’s bowl record: Kirk Ferentz, 6-5
Tennessee Volunteers (6-6, 3-5 SEC)
After three seasons of falling just short of bowl eligibility, the Tennessee Volunteers make their triumphant return to the postseason. Second-year coach Butch Jones guided his team to three wins in the season’s final four games to reach a bowl game, and while the 6-6 record is only a minor improvement on Tennessee’s three previous 5-7 records, the 2014 Volunteers looked much improved in near-miss losses to Georgia, Florida and Missouri.
Tennessee’s late-season push came when Jones put sophomore quarterback Joshua Dobbs, and while Dobbs has hardly been flawless — he has thrown five interceptions in five games and surpassed 200 yards just twice — he has done enough to win. Freshman running back Jalen Hurd leads the team in rushing with 777 yards on 174 carries.
Last bowl game: 2010 Music City Bowl vs. North Carolina, 30-27 loss
All-time bowl record: 25-24
Head coach’s bowl record: Butch Jones, 1-2