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January 01, 2008
by Ryan Hudson
Jan. 1, 11:00am
Raymond James Stadium
Teams: #16 Wisconsin Badgers (9-3) vs. #18 Tennessee Volunteers (9-4)
Betting Line: Tennessee is favored by 1.5 points.
Brief History: The Outback Bowl was formerly named the Hall of Fame Bowl from 1986-1995. Outback Steakhouse became the sponsor in April 1995. In 1986, this became the first major college bowl to be played in Tampa. The game has contracts with the SEC and the Big Ten Conference.
Fun Fact: The Outback Steakhouse is home to the Bloomin’ Onion, which is perhaps the tastiest appetizer that money can buy.
Notable Schwag for the Players: Sony digital camera, Fossil watch and Jostens ring.
Preview: This one looks to be a high scoring affair due to both teams' high-powered offenses and generally forgiving defenses. The Volunteers are scoring over 33 points per game, thanks to featured receiver Lucas Taylor and 1,000 yard rusher, Adrian Foster. QB Erik Ainge benefits from the best ranked offensive line in terms of sacks allowed (just four sacks allowed all season).
The balanced Badgers are averaging over 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game this season. P.J. Hill ran for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns, despite being out for two games and hobbled due to injury. If there is a better defense in this contest it belongs to Wisconsin -- the Badgers allow 23 points per game.
The Outback Bowl may have a familiar taste to the Tennessee Volunteers -- this will be their second trip in as many years to play in Tampa. The Vols are hoping for a better result than last year's 20-10 defeat at the hands of Penn State. Meanwhile, Wisconsin wants to extend its bowl game win streak to three games.