Rutgers To Replace Texas A&M In Gator Bowl, Face Wake Forest

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UPDATE (2:35 p.m.): With Texas A&M (8-4) withdrawing from the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program, Wake Forest (10-3) has found a replacement opponent.

Cue Greg Schiano and Rutgers (5-7), who reportedly had first dibs at the offer, per ESPN and have now accepted.

The NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee met Thursday to determine the policy for a replacement opponent. The Aggies backed out after being down to just 38 scholarship players.

While a .500 record automatically grants school’s bowl eligibility, in this instance, the committee referred to Academic Progress Rate (APR). Rutgers was the first option since they have the highest APR rate among all available 5-7 teams.

It wIll be the Scarlet Knights’ first bowl appearance since 2014, a 40-21 victory over North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl. The second-longest bowl drought among Power Five programs will come to an end. Only Kansas has a longer drought.

Rutgers last played on Nov. 27, a 40-16 defeat to Maryland that was thought to have dashed its bowl hopes. The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl was set to kick off on Friday, Dec. 31 at 11 p.m. on ESPN at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

With the game being played in Jacksonville, Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reports that Jaguars owner Shad Khan was pushing to get Illinois in the Gator Bowl. Khan is an Illinois alumnus.

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.

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