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Tennessee headed to Citrus Bowl, set to face Iowa

A surprise.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Kentucky at Iowa Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Surprise! Tennessee is headed to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on New Year’s day. After every bowl selection analyst said the Gator or the Reliaquest, the Volunteers end up in the Citrus for the first time since the 2001 season.

Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. ET on January 1st.

Tennessee beat Michigan 45-17 in their last appearance in the game back in 2002. This will be the Vols’ sixth appearance in the game.

The Volunteers ended the regular season with an 8-4 mark. They dropped swing games against Florida and Missouri, then couldn’t quite hang with Georgia or Alabama. Josh Heupel’s downfield passing attack never really got going, limiting the Tennessee offense for much of the year.

They’ll now head to Orlando to face a team that plays completely opposite in style. Iowa is armed with a truly elite defense, but they’ve been offensive challenged for years. That didn’t change this year, but their formula works in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes finished with a 10-2 record in the regular season, losing 26-0 in the Big Ten title game last night to Michigan.

Tennessee and Iowa last faced during the 2015 season in Jacksonville. The Volunteers rolled past the Hawkeyes in the Gator Bowl, 45-28.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Tennessee is an eight point favorite.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.