Gasparilla Bowl: Wake Forest (7-5) vs. Missouri (6-6), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Wake Forest by 1 1/2.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Missouri is looking for its first bowl win since the Gary Pinkel-coached Tigers beat Minnesota in the 2014 Capital One Bowl. The Tigers have lost three in a row since, including a 24-22 loss to Army in last year’s Armed Forces Bowl in coach Eli Drinkwitz’s first bowl appearance at the school. Wake Forest looks to rebound after losing four of its final five regular-season games. Seven of the Demon Deacons’ 17 bowl appearances have come in the last seven years under coach Dave Clawson.
Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman against the Missouri defense. Hartman has 107 career touchdown passes and needs one more to break a tie with Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (2010-13) for most in Atlantic Coast Conference history. He also need 313 yards passing to join North Carolina State’s Philip Rivers (13,484, 2000-03) as the only quarterbacks in ACC history to reach 13,000 yards.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wake Forest: LB Ryan Smenda Jr. had 106 tackles in 11 games this year. His 344 career tackles are the 14th most in the ACC since 2005.
Missouri: QB Brady Cook completed 218 of 334 passes for 2,509 yards. He has 13 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
FACTS & FIGURES
Wake Forest is averaging 36.8 points. It’s the only program in the ACC to average at least 30 in each of the last six seasons. ... Missouri’s defense is allowing an average of 25 points. ... WR Dominic Lovett, who led Missouri with 56 receptions and 846 yards, won’t play after entering the transfer portal. DEs Isaiah McGuire and DJ Coleman and S Martez Manuel all opted out of the bowl to prepare for the NFL draft. ... Wake Forest WR A.T. Perry has a school-best 28 career TD receptions. He is one away from tying for fourth-most in ACC history.
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