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Auburn to face Minnesota in Outback Bowl

In search of his third 10-win season on the Plains, Gus Malzahn will take his team down to the Sunshine State for bowl season.

No. 12 Auburn will face No. 18 Minnesota in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, WatchStadium's Brett McMurphy first reported.

Past the New Year's Six bowl designations, the Outback Bowl gets second choice of an SEC school after the Citrus Bowl, which elected to pick No. 13 Alabama to face off against No. 14 Michigan. With LSU in the College Football Playoff, the Sugar Bowl received No. 5 Georgia as its SEC leader, while No. 9 Florida is headed to the Orange Bowl.

Bo Nix (10) carries for a touchdown during Auburn vs. Alabama.
Bo Nix (10) carries for a touchdown during Auburn vs. Alabama. (Butch Dill / AP)

“The Outback Bowl is one of the premier bowl games in college football and we can’t wait to invade Tampa Bay with blue and orange” Auburn athletic director Allen Greene said in a release. “Coach Malzahn and his team have had a great year and enter bowl season with a lot of momentum. We look forward to seeing Raymond James Stadium filled with the Auburn Family on New Year’s Day.”

The bowl will mark the first-ever meeting on the gridiron between the Tigers and Golden Gophers.

Auburn is 2-2 in the Outback Bowl with wins over Northwestern in 2010 and Ohio State in 1990, and losses to Wisconsin and Penn State in 2015 and 1996, respectively. All-time in bowl season, Auburn is 8-6 against teams currently in the Big Ten.

Minnesota will be looking to win 11-plus games for the first time since it went 13-0 in 1903. The Gophers are 10-2 this season under third-year coach P.J. Fleck, and are enjoying their first 10-win season in 16 years.

Malzahn, meanwhile, has never beaten a Top-25 opponent in a bowl game in his Auburn tenure.

"We have the best fans in college football and I look forward to them joining us on New Year’s Day as we try to win our tenth game of the season and send our seniors out on a high note," Malzahn said.

Kickoff from Tampa is set for 12 p.m. CST.

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