Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

52° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Football: Northwestern clinches Las Vegas Bowl, will face Utah on December 23rd

Senior+offensive+lineman+Ben+Wrather%2C+and+wide+receivers+senior+Bryce+Kirtz+and+sixth-year+Cam+Johnson+celebrate+against+Purdue.+The+%E2%80%98Cats+will+be+taking+their+talents+out+west+on+December+23rd+to+face+Utah+in+the+Las+Vegas+Bowl.
Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal
Senior offensive lineman Ben Wrather, and wide receivers senior Bryce Kirtz and sixth-year Cam Johnson celebrate against Purdue. The ‘Cats will be taking their talents out west on December 23rd to face Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.

After an impressive 7-5 season and second-place Big Ten West finish, Northwestern football’s hot streak is headed to an atmosphere that thrives off just that.

On Sunday afternoon, it was announced on X that the Wildcats will take on Utah in the 2023 SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl in Las Vegas on December 23rd. The game will be held in Allegiant Stadium, while kickoff is set for 6:30 PM Central Time.

The ‘Cats trip out west will be the program’s first bowl appearance since the 2020 season, where they defeated Auburn 35-19 in the Citrus Bowl. NU enters with a four-game bowl winning streak — the second-longest in the Big Ten and fourth in the nation.

“Knowing that our team was going to have an opportunity to have this much extra time together and opportunity to go compete one last time with this group was something that we are all very proud of,” coach David Braun said. “This group certainly is thrilled about and understands that there’s going to be a lot of work ahead for us to be ready and prepared to be at our best on December 23.”

Prior to their final regular season game against Colorado, the Utah Utes (8-4, 5-4 PAC-12) were ranked in the AP Top-25 the entire year — and as high as No. 10. Utah won back-to-back PAC-12 titles in 2021 and 2022.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, who’s in his 19th season at the helm, has led the Utes to 15 bowl games during his tenure. Last year, they lost the Rose Bowl to Penn State 35-21.  

The contest will be a rematch of the ‘Cats-Utah Holiday Bowl in 2018, where NU won 31-20 on New Years Eve. 

“They’re going to play complimentary football, it’s going to be a physical brand of football that continues to show up on tape this year,” Braun said. “We have an incredible opportunity to continue to develop this roster and prepare for a very talented, well coached Utah team is something that all of us are excited about and look forward to.”

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