Gabriel, Oklahoma to face Florida State in Cheez-It Bowl

Cheez-It Bowl: Florida State (9-3) vs. Oklahoma (6-6), Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. Eastern (ESPN)

FanDuel Sportsbook College Line: Florida State by by 9 1/2

Series record: Oklahoma leads 6-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

After their worst regular-season finish in over two decades, the Sooners look to win their third straight bowl and first under coach Brent Venables, with a winning record at stake. The Seminoles had their first winning season since coach Jimbo Fisher left the program in 2017 and look for their first bowl win since the 2017 season.

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma’s offensive line vs. Florida State’s defensive front. The Sooners had offensive linemen Wanya Morris and Anton Harrison opt out of the bowl game, and their offensive front will have a tough test against the Seminoles’ defensive front. Florida State had the third-best defense in the ACC this season, allowing just 19.7 points per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Florida State: RB Trey Benson ranked fourth among ACC rushers, with 965 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 111 yards rushing on a season-high 20 carries in the Seminoles’ regular-season finale against Florida.

Oklahoma: QB Dillon Gabriel led the Big 12 with 265.5 yards per game and had 2,920 yards passing, 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions in his first season with the Sooners after transferring from UCF. Gabriel also rushed for 298 yards and five TDs and was named Big 12 offensive newcomer of the year.

FACTS & FIGURES

Florida State qualified for its first bowl game since 2019, when it lost 20-14 to Arizona State in the Sun Bowl. … The Seminoles finished with a 5-3 ACC record, behind only Clemson. … They finished one game better in league play than a year ago but managed a four-game turnaround from last season. It was their first winning season under coach Mike Norvell. … Florida State is 28-17-2 all-time in bowl games and have won eight of their past 11 bowls dating to 2008, including the BCS championship over Auburn after the 2013 season. … The Sooners lost three of their final four regular-season games and finished with their worst record since the 1998 season, when they finished 5-6. … The Sooners are 31-23-1 all-time in bowls and are making their 24th consecutive bowl appearance. … They won their past two bowls, over Oregon and Florida, by a combined score of 102-52.

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