Jacksonville Sports Day

COLLEGE BOWL NEWS: No. 9 Ole Miss, No. 6 TCU Square Off In Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

OXFORD, Miss. – For the second straight year, Ole Miss will end its season in the same city in which it began it. The Rebels have accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, as Ole Miss continues its rich bowl tradition on Dec. 31 in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

The ninth-ranked Rebels (9-3, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) will face No. 6 TCU (11-1, 9-1 Big 12 Conference) in the 47th Peach Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. ET and televised by ESPN. 
“To start the season and finish the season in Atlanta at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is a great accomplishment for our football program, players and coaches,” said Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork. “Our goals when we arrived were to establish a football program that was relevant on the national scene, and we are now playing in one of the College Football Playoff access bowl games.  While we will continue working hard to grow the foundation that has been set up, playing on December 31st is a great achievement for our entire university.”

Ole Miss is making its third straight bowl appearance in three seasons under the direction of head coach Hugh Freeze. He’s the only coach in school history to guide the Rebels to bowl berths in each of his first three seasons.

Ole Miss won the BBVA Compass Bowl (38-17 over Pittsburgh) after the 2012 season and the Music City Bowl (25-17 over Georgia Tech) last season. Like this year, the 2013 Music City Bowl marked a return to the location of the Rebels’ season opener, having begun the campaign with a victory over Vanderbilt in Nashville.

This year’s squad won nine regular-season games for the first time since 2003, defeating three 10-win teams and four conference champions along the way. 

Ole Miss rose as high as No. 3 in the national rankings and finished the regular season with the nation’s top scoring defense, allowing just 13.8 points per game.

Three of the Rebels’ victories came against teams playing in access bowls: Alabama (Sugar), Mississippi State (Orange) and Boise State (Fiesta). The season-opening win over the Broncos took place in the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic.

“It’s an exciting time in college athletics, and we are thrilled to be one of the teams selected in the first ‘New Year’s Six’ bowls,” Freeze said. “We are honored to accept this great invitation and take on an outstanding TCU team. Atlanta is a place that is very dear to our program, and it’s important to us that we represent our great university.”

Ole Miss bolsters its celebrated bowl legacy with its 36th all-time appearance, tied for 18th on the NCAA Division I list of all-time bowl berths. The Rebels are 23-12 in bowl games, with the 23 wins tied for ninth-most in college football history. 

The Rebels’ .657 winning percentage is second-best among all schools.
Ole Miss is 10-1 in its last 11 bowl games, including a current streak of six straight victories that is tied with Florida State for best in the country. The Rebels’ lone loss since 1992 was in the 2000 Music City Bowl, falling 49-38 to West Virginia.

This will mark Ole Miss’ second appearance in the Peach Bowl, having defeated Georgia Tech 41-18 in the 1971 game.

“The Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl staff does a great job of hosting a first-class bowl game and festivities, and I am confident Rebel Nation will take over Atlanta during the holiday season,” Bjork said. “Congratulations to everyone, and We are Ole Miss!”

Ole Miss and TCU have met six times in their history, most recently in 1983, with the Rebels boasting a 5-1 all-time edge. The teams have a pair of postseason encounters, both won by the Red and Blue. The first bout between the Rebels and Horned Frogs was a 13-9 Ole Miss triumph in the 1948 Delta Bowl, and in the 1956 Cotton Bowl, the Rebels prevailed 14-13.

Ole Miss is 13-11 against current Big 12 schools, including a 9-3 mark in bowl games. Six of the Rebels’ last nine postseason outings have come against teams currently in the Big 12.

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