Vols officially headed to the Outback Bowl

Tennessee will play Northwestern in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 at noon in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., the SEC announced Sunday.
This will be the Vols’ first trip to the Outback Bowl since Jan. 1, 2008, when they defeated Wisconsin 21-17. The Vols finished 8-4 this season and in second in the SEC East with a 5-3 conference mark. They were rated No. 23 in the final College Football Playoff Top 25.
Northwestern finished 10-2 this season and was ranked No. 13 in the final College Football Playoff Top 25. The Wildcats’ only losses came against No. 5 Iowa and No. 14 Michigan. The Wildcats are led by sophomore running back Justin Jackson, who ranks third in the Big Ten with 1,344 rushing yards, and middle linebacker Anthony Walker, who ranks fourth in the conference with 113 tackles.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones will receive a $200,000 bonus for the Vols’ appearance in the Outback Bowl.
This will be the Vols’ fourth trip to the Tampa-based bowl. When it was still called the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1993, the Vols defeated Boston College 38-23 behind four total touchdowns from Heath Shuler. The Vols lost to Penn State 20-10 in the 2007 Outback Bowl before defeating Wisconsin there the following season.
The Vols’ only previous meeting with Northwestern came in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 1997, when the Vols won 48-28.