SPORTS

Countdown is on to Michigan, TCU in Glendale Fiesta Bowl

1st-ever meeting between the schools has national championship berth at stake

Posted 12/6/22

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl in Glendale will feature the first-ever meeting between No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 TCU on Saturday, Dec. 31 at State Farm Stadium.

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SPORTS

Countdown is on to Michigan, TCU in Glendale Fiesta Bowl

1st-ever meeting between the schools has national championship berth at stake

Posted

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl in Glendale will feature the first-ever meeting between No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 TCU on Saturday, Dec. 31 at State Farm Stadium.

Kickoff for the semifinal will be at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

With a trip to the CFP National Championship on the line, Michigan is making its first appearance at the Fiesta Bowl since a 27-23 victory over Nebraska in 1986 when current head coach Jim Harbaugh was the team’s quarterback, while TCU will be looking for its first Fiesta Bowl victory following a narrow 17-10 loss to Boise State in 2010.

For Michigan, this will be the Wolverines’ second consecutive CFP Semifinal appearance and fourth berth in a New Year’s Six Bowl in the last seven seasons. The rising Horned Frogs are snapping a three-year bowl drought and competing in their first CFP Semifinal after being picked to finish seventh in the 10-team Big 12’s preseason poll.

Michigan is 21-28 all-time in bowl games, while TCU owns a 17-15-1 overall bowl season record.

“One of best things about our bowl is having matchups that don’t normally occur,” Randal Norton, Fiesta Bowl board chair, stated. “This is the first time these two teams will ever meet on the field, and it’s been 35 years since Michigan last played in the Fiesta Bowl. TCU has been an intriguing story all year and one of these teams will move on to the national championship.”

Michigan (13-0) secured its ticket to the Fiesta Bowl with a 43-22 victory over Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game, the first time in its history that it won 13 games in a season. Led by Harbaugh, who rushed for two touchdowns and quarterbacked the Wolverines to their lone Fiesta Bowl victory in 1986, Michigan is vying for its first national championship since 1997 and 12th overall in program history.

The Wolverines rank third in total defense (277.1) and fifth in scoring defense (13.4) while also ranking in the top-25 in both passing defense and rushing defense.

Coming off a narrow 31-28 overtime loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship, TCU (12-1) snagged a spot in the College Football Playoff with a resume-building regular season that included wins over five nationally-ranked teams. The Horned Frogs are one win away from matching their school record for wins in a season, previously accomplished during a 13-0 season in 2010. TCU owns two national championships, in 1935 and 1938.

Orchestrating the sixth-highest scoring offense in the country at 40.3 points per game is senior Max Duggan, a finalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Duggan is ninth nationally in passing efficiency with a 165.5 rating and leads the Big 12 in passing yards (3,321), passing touchdowns (30) and yards per completion (13.9).

TCU’s defense has been opportunistic and has given their high-powered offense extra possessions with 19 turnovers forced, good for 45th in the FBS.

This year’s Vrbo Fiesta Bowl will be the third College Football Playoff Semifinal in Fiesta Bowl history following games in 2016 and 2019. The winner of the 2022 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl will advance to the CFP National Championship on Monday, Jan. 9 in Los Angeles.

All tickets purchased for the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl support Fiesta Bowl Charities and its mission to enhance the cause of Arizona nonprofits through its three pillars of youth, sports and education. Fiesta Bowl Charities has granted nearly $20 million in charitable giving over the last six years alone.

Tickets are available by clicking here or calling 480-350-0911.

Fans are encouraged to attend the two pregame parties at State Farm Stadium. The Caesars Sportsbook Club ‘71 is a premium pregame party while the Caesars Sportsbook Fan Fest Pregame Party is a party for fans of all ages.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Arizona, Michigan, Wolverines, TCU, Horned Frogs, college football, College Football Playoff