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

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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