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A limited number of tickets for the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Monday, January 1, 7:45 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Superdome) will become available to the general public on Friday, September 1. Fans will be able to purchase tickets by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or by visiting them online. This will be the ONLY way to purchase Allstate Sugar Bowl tickets straight from the source. In addition to this year’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, there will also be a semifinal played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Rose Bowl tickets will also go on sale September 1.
The 2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl is sold out, the Sugar Bowl Committee announced on Wednesday. This year’s game (Monday, January 1, 2018) will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal and will be televised live by ESPN from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome beginning at 7:45 p.m. (Central). The 84th annual Sugar Bowl Classic will feature over 70,000 fans for the 62nd time in its history. While the game is sold out, options remain for attending the game.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 27 national champions, 92 Hall of Fame players, 48 Hall of Fame coaches and 17 Heisman Trophy winners in its 83-year history. The 84th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic will mark the second College Football Playoff Semifinal hosted by the Sugar Bowl Committee. In addition to football, the Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Via these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 25,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade.
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A spot in the College Football Playoff national championship game. The Bulldogs are making their first playoff appearance and have not won a national title since 1980. Second-year coach Kirby Smart guided Georgia to a big jump from 8-5 in his first season to Southeastern Conference champions. First-year coach Lincoln Riley led the Sooners to their third straight Big 12 championship and second playoff appearance in three seasons. The Sooners have not played for the national championship.
Few who live, work and breathe college football in the Southeast would ever entertain the thought that the Big 12 measures up against the SEC, unless we’re talking about Vanderbilt, because they don’t count. But Stoops retired in the offseason after thumping Auburn 35-19 in last season’s Sugar Bowl. His Sooners also jumped on Alabama for 31 first-half points and won 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl in 2013. (Nobody needs to remind Georgia coach Kirby Smart, who was Alabama’s defensive coordinator.) Stoops was 4-0 against the SEC down the stretch of his career, and he won a national championship (2000). But this week, the narrative gets new life. A physical, run-heavy Georgia team faces an Oklahoma team that seems straight.
Oklahoma’s offensive line against Georgia’s defensive front. QB Baker Mayfield draws most of the accolades for the Sooners, but the Heisman Trophy winner operates behind one of the best offensive lines in the country. Future high NFL draft picks man both tackles in All-American Orlando Brown and Bobby Evans. Georgia has run stuffers up front in their 3-4 defense in DE Trenton Thompson and NT John Atkins, but most of the pass rush comes from linebackers Roquan Smith, Lorenzo Carter.
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Coach Brian Kelly said Mack’s suspension is because of an “internal team matter” and unrelated to academics; Mack was academically ineligible for all of the 2016 season. The junior, who will not travel with the team to Orlando, Florida, will be reinstated after the bowl game.Mack appeared in 10 games this season, starting six, and had 19 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown. Notre Dame also will be without starting wide receiver Kevin Stepherson and freshman running back C.J. Holmes, who were suspended indefinitely following their arrests last Friday on shoplifting charges.
“If I could explain 18- to 20-year-olds and their thought process after being in (this career) for 27 years, I’d have written that book already,” Kelly said of Stepherson and Holmes. “We try to expose our kids to the foundational principals of making good decisions. They broke one of our commandments — you can’t steal and they did. I can tolerate a lot of things but I can’t tolerate stealing. That’s why they are suspended indefinitely and they’ve put themselves into jeopardy.
The parade of postseason games begins Dec. 16 and continues steadily through New Year’s Day. The top four teams in college football compete in the College Football Playoff Semifinals, with both games taking place Jan. 1 on ESPN. First up, the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners face the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Then in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the No. 1 Clemson Tigers face the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide in a rematch of last year’s national championship game won by Clemson. The national championship game is Jan. 8 on ESPN.
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Notre Dame will have to earn that ten-win season without some important pieces. The Fighting Irish flew to Orlando six days before the game to adjust to warmer temperatures, but receivers Kevin Stepherson (suspension) and Chase Claypool (injury), as well as tight ends Alize Mack (suspension) and Brock Wright (injury) did not make the trip. That means quarterback Brandon Wimbush might have to rely more heavily on targets such as Equanimeous St. Brown, Miles Boykin and Chris Finke at wideout. Smythe could play a big role along with fellow tight ends Nic Weishar.
McIntosh is third on the team in rushing with 368 yards and is the second running back to be suspended for the bowl game. A week ago, Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Stepherson and running back C.J. Holmes were suspended, and it was later reported that they were suspended because of arrests for shoplifting. The next day, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced that tight end Alize Mack was suspended for the postseason. The reason for Mack’s suspension was called an “internal team matter.” The suspension of Mack and Stepherson and an injury that will keep Chase Claypool out of the game means Notre Dame will be without three of its top four pass receivers against LSU.
Fighting Irish running back Josh Adams (1,386 yards, nine touchdowns) shined behind a behemoth offensive line anchored by Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson. The emphasis on the ground game is likely to continue versus LSU, which will be without its top three linebackers because of injuries. McGlinchey and Nelson will be first round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft and both could hear their names called within the Top 10. . The Tigers wrapped up the regular season with victories in three games in a row and six of their past seven.
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Stokan also believes the same could be said about how the Knights feel heading into the Peach Bowl. No. 10 UCF is the second Group of 5 school to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff era. The Knights also have a chance to complete a 13-0 season with Frost before he leaves to take the job at Nebraska. Stokan also re-emphasized what that means. “It gives Cinderella a chance to dance,” Stokan said.
The Auburn offense is looking to feast on a Knights Defense that has given up over 1200 yards and 97 points over its last 2 games. When the Tigers offense is clicking, they are tough to slow down. In Auburn’s 10 wins this season, the Tigers are averaging 41 points per game to just 12 points in their three losses. Some good news for the Tigers, after being banged up in the Iron Bowl, it looks like Auburn Running Back Kerryon Johnson will be good to go for the Peach Bowl. Johnson has practiced all week in Atlanta and it seems the junior is back to his old self.
Stokan attended every practice for both Florida State and Houston in the days leading up to that matchup. The Seminoles had more depth, but there wasn’t a huge gap between the first teams. “Florida State was ready to play,” Stokan said. “It’s just that Houston was that good that year. (Houston defensive coordinator) Todd Orlando did a great job defensively.” Stokan said UCF now has that opportunity against.
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It’s been a tremendous experience for both the staff and the players, first-rate treatment here by the people of Atlanta and also by the Chick-FilA Peach Bowl. Unbelievable hotel, unbelievable facilities. Great activities for the kids to participate in, as well as the staff. It’s just been a great experience for me and for also our players to experience a Bowl game like this and be treated like this. It’s going to be very exciting for me to do this to finish this season off right.
No. 12 UCF’s run at a perfect season meets up with No. 7 Auburn on New Year’s Day in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Coverage of the Peach Bowl airs on ESPN and the WatchESPN app beginning at 12:30 from Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. UCF probably hoped for better in the rankings after going 12-0 but now they have to cast that aside against Auburn (10-3) and play another strong four quarters. The Odds: The Auburn Tigers are 10 point favorites against the Central Florida Knights in the Peach Bowl. The over/under for this game is set at 67.5 total points. Will this be another game of SEC dominance or will UCF pull off an upset.
The college football bowl season is upon us. With 39 games spread out over the next two and a half weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline. Find all our picks here. All lines are as of the date of publication A bit of an added bonus to this bowl preview, along with the other five members of the “New Year’s Six” bowl games.
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Huskies coach Chris Petersen’s reputation for trick plays, born from his days at Boise State and especially the unforgettable 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Specials teams are “always of paramount importance,” Petersen said. “It’s every bit as important as offense or defense. It’s important every day to us.” Pettis is a senior with an NCAA-record nine career punt-return touchdowns (four in 2017) to go with his 15 receiving TDs this season. He averages a nation-leading 20.4 yards per punt and was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in major college football.
The Rose Bowl is hosting one of the national semi-finals contests, but had it not, the match-up of Penn State versus Washington would have made a compelling choice under the annual Big Ten / Pac-12 system. Both teams have a great deal of respect for one another. Also, each team is a near mirror-image in terms of offensive skill players and shut-down defense. The Playstation Fiesta Bowl has all the making of another classic bowl game!
The running back duo is terrific with Penn State’s Saquon Barkley capable of a highlight any time he touches the ball, if his offensive line gives him room to work. Barkley is going up against a stingy Washington defense so there may not be much room to work for much of the night. This is expected to be the final game of Barkley’s career before heading off to the NFL, where he is likely to be a top 10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The stats may not tell the full story of just how dangerous Barkley can be, but he can be a factor running the ball, catching the ball, and returning kicks.
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Washington will face Penn State in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. Washington returns to a New Year’s Six bowl one year after reaching the College Football Playoff. The Huskies finished the year with two close losses to Arizona State and Stanford. Penn State appeared to be a national title contender for a good chunk of this season, but consecutive losses to Ohio State and Michigan State ended any hopes for the Nittany Lions. See how to watch Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl online below.
Meanwhile, UW was knocked out by the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff Seminfinals. Both teams were considered somewhat of a disappointment, as each program could have made a solid push for the Playoff if not for some upset losses. A confusing road loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils put the Playoff out of reach for the Huskies. Furthermore, Penn State was knocked out of the Playoff in a defeat on a rainy day in East Lansing against the Michigan State Spartans. Here’s the five bold predictions for the 2017 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between the Washington Huskies and Penn State Nittany Lions.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 entered play on Saturday at 1-5 in bowl games, with Arizona State set to face North Carolina State in the Sun Bowl, and USC set to face Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl on Friday. He said Thursday that even though he is looking forward to facing Washington and its vaunted rushing defense (4 p.m. ET Saturday), he has changed course on how he thinks about his peers and their choice to play or not in postseason games. The Washington linebackers are the weak spot in the defense. The Trojans stormed the field after a walk.