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Outback Bowl Prediction: Tennessee Volunteers escape with the win

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The Northwestern Wildcats (10-2) will face the Tennessee Volunteers (8-4) in the Outback Bowl. They’ll kick off at noon on ESPN from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The game will feature two Top 25 teams, as the Wildcats are 13th and the Volunteers are 23rd. In addition, it’s the first of the New Year’s Day games.

The Volunteers will defeat the Wildcats, 28-27. This is according to our whatifsports.com simulation.

The Wildcats had the ball for 30 minutes and 15 seconds. The Volunteers had it for 29 minutes and 45 seconds.

The Wildcats had 460 total yards compared to the Volunteers, who had 328 yards.

Volunteers quarterback Joshua Dobbs went 18-of-24 for 143 yards and four touchdowns. His counterpart, Wildcats signal caller Clayton Thorson went 11-of-23 for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Justin Jackson had 147 rushing yards for the Wildcats. Thorson added 59-yards, while Auston Anderson had 34-yards and a touchdown. Warren Long had 23-yards and Solomon Vault had two-yards.

Jackson also had 93 receiving yards and two more touchdowns. Austin Carr had 70-yards, while Christian Jones had 23-yards. Dan Vitale had six-yards and Mike McHugh had three-yards.

Jalen Hurd had 132 rushing yards for the Volunteers. Alvin Kamara had 36-yards, while Dobbs added 17.

Ethan Wolf had 54 receiving yards and a touchdown. Josh Malone added 27-yards and two touchdowns. Von Pearson had 24-yards, while Jauan Jennings had 20-yards. Hurd had 14-yards and a touchdown, while Kamara had 4-yards and Josh Smith had 3-yards. Alex Ellis had -3-yards.

Ben Oxley had the lone Wildcats sack. However, the Volunteers had two interceptions, as Stephen Griffin and Elliott Berry had those.

With 1:05 left in the fourth quarter, Wolf caught a 26-yard touchdown reception from Dobbs for the 28-27 lead. This would eventually become the game-winning score once the Wildcats couldn’t muster another score.

The Volunteers cut the lead to 24-21 when Malone caught a 7-yard touchdown reception from Dobbs with 3:56 left in the third quarter. Northwestern kicker Jack Mitchell made it 27-21 with a 21-yard field goal.

Both teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter. Northwestern’s two scores made it 24-0 before Tennessee got on the board.

Jackson caught an 82-yard pass from Thorson for the 17-0 lead. Then, he caught a two-yard pass from Thorson for the 24-0 lead five minutes later.

With 4:40 left in the first half, Malone caught a 12-yard pass from Dobbs to cut the lead to 24-7. Then, Hurd caught a 14-yard pass from Dobbs with 1:10 left to make it 24-14.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Anderson scored on a 27-yard run for the 7-0 lead. Then, Mitchell made a 33-yard field goal to make it 10-0.

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