Football: Northwestern to face Utah in Holiday Bowl


Allie Goulding/Daily Senior Staffer

Clayton Thorson (center) warms up with teammates ahead of the Big Ten Championship Game. Thorson and the Wildcats will play in the Holiday Bowl.

Jonah Dylan, Managing Editor


After a wild season that included a Saturday loss against Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game, Northwestern now knows its postseason destination: the Holiday Bowl.

The No. 22 Wildcats (8-5, 8-1 Big Ten) will face off with No. 17 Utah (9-4, 6-3 Pac 12) in the game, which will be played at SDCCU Stadium on New Year’s Eve in San Diego. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CST.

The Cats started the season with a 1-3 record, but then rebounded — despite a winless nonconference slate — to win eight straight Big Ten games and earn the Big Ten West crown. Despite their loss to the Buckeyes, NU will have an opportunity to win three straight bowl games for the first time in program history.

Meanwhile, the Utes lost their first two conference contests but rebounded to win the Pac-12 South and earn a slot in the conference title game. They fell in an ugly 10-3 loss to Washington on Friday, but will still have an opportunity for a 10-win season with a victory over Pat Fitzgerald’s team.

This will be NU’s fourth straight bowl appearance. The Cats were blown out by Tennessee in the 2015 Outback Bowl, beat Pittsburgh in the 2016 Pinstripe Bowl and won a crazy game against Kentucky in the 2017 Music City Bowl. NU has never appeared in the Holiday Bowl.

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