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Orange Bowl: Texas A&M’s 1st since 1944, UNC’s 1st ever

NC State will play in Gator Bowl
North Carolina running back Javonte Williams (25) runs the ball as Miami cornerback Te'Cory...
North Carolina running back Javonte Williams (25) runs the ball as Miami cornerback Te'Cory Couch (23) and Bubba Bolden (21) give chase during the first half of an during an NCAA college football game at Hard Rock Stadium In Miami Gardens, Fla, Saturday, Dec, 12, 2020. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)(Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP (Custom credit) | Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)
Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 3:35 PM EST
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — No. 5 Texas A&M (8-1, SEC) vs. No. 13 North Carolina (8-3, ACC), Jan. 2, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

LOCATION: Miami Gardens, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Texas A&M: RB Isaiah Spiller, 993 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns.

North Carolina: QB Sam Howell, 69.1% completions, 3,352 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns.

NOTABLE

Texas A&M: The Aggies are winners of seven straight and lost only to No. 1 Alabama this season. ... Texas A&M’s only other Orange Bowl appearance was Jan. 1, 1944, at Burdine Stadium, when the Aggies completed a 7-1-1 season by beating LSU 19-14. ... It’ll be Texas A&M’s first time playing in the state of Florida since Dec. 31, 2018, when the Aggies rolled past North Carolina State 52-13 in the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville. ... The Aggies were also No. 5 in Sunday’s AP Top 25 poll. ... Average score of A&M’s past bowl games: Aggies 25, Opponents 25.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels scored 41 or more points seven times in 11 games this season. ... North Carolina’s last outing was beyond prolific; the Heels piled up 778 yards, 554 of them rushing, in a 36-point win at Hard Rock Stadium against Miami on Dec. 12. ... With Michael Carter (1,245) and Javonte Williams (1,140), the Tar Heels have two of the top six players in the country this season in terms of rushing yards. ... Average score of UNC’s past bowl games: Tar Heels 22, Opponents 22.

LAST TIME

First meeting.

BOWL HISTORY

Texas A&M: Second appearance in the Orange Bowl, 42nd bowl appearance in school history.

North Carolina: First appearance in the Orange Bowl, 35th bowl appearance in school history.

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