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Friday’s bowl previews: Five games on schedule

Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines take on the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl. (Marta Lavandier / Associated Press)
Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines take on the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl. (Marta Lavandier / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Liberty Bowl

Matchup: Georgia (7-5, Southeastern Conference) vs. TCU (6-6, Big 12)

Logistics: at Memphis, Tennessee, 9 a.m. (ESPN)

Line: Even.

Series record: Georgia leads 3-0.

What’s at stake

TCU is trying to avoid just the third losing season in Gary Patterson’s 16 full seasons as coach. Georgia is seeking to earn a bowl victory for the third straight season after winning the Belk Bowl in 2014 and the TaxSlayer Bowl last season.

Key matchup

Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel vs. TCU run defense: Chubb and Michel have both indicated they plan to return to school next year, and they could carry some momentum into the offseason by running wild against a TCU defense allowing 4.1 yards per carry.

Sun Bowl

Matchup: No. 16 Stanford (9-3, Pac-12) vs. North Carolina (8-4, ACC)

Logistics: at El Paso, Texas, 11 a.m. (CBS)

Line: Stanford by 3.

Series record: 1-1. First meeting since 1998.

What’s at stake

Stanford seeks sixth 10-win season in past 10 years. without star running back Christian McCaffrey, who decided to skip Cardinal’s school-record eighth straight bowl to focus on NFL career. Coach David Shaw can pass Bill Walsh as leader in bowl victories with fourth. North Carolina trying to end two-year bowl skid, including last year’s loss to Baylor when Tar Heels gave up bowl-record 645 yards rushing.

Key matchup

Stanford RB Bryce Love, McCaffrey’s replacement, faces UNC defense that ranked 113th nationally against run. With McCaffrey powering running game, Cardinal ranked 34th in country at 236 yards rushing per game.

Music City Bowl

Matchup: No. 24 Nebraska (9-3, Big Ten) vs. Tennessee (8-4, SEC)

Logistics: at Nashville, Tennessee, 12:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Line: Tennessee by 6 1/2.

Series record: Nebraska leads 2-0.

What’s at stake

Nebraska can finish off an impressive turnaround in coach Mike Riley’s second season and assure the Cornhuskers of staying in the Top 25 going into the offseason. Tennessee can salvage a season that started off with such high promise and ease the painful memories of the Volunteers’ last trip to Nashville.

Key matchup

Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett against Nebraska’s offensive line. The Cornhuskers have allowed only 11 sacks this season. Barnett has 12 sacks this season and has tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White’s school record with 32 career sacks.

Arizona Bowl

Matchup: South Alabama (6-6, Sun Belt) vs. Air Force (9-3, MWC)

Logistics: at Tucson, Arizona, 2 p.m. (American Sports Network)

Line: Air Force by 13 1/2.

Series record: First meeting.

What’s at stake

Air Force’s 32-member senior class is playing for its second 10-win season in two years. South Alabama is vying for the program’s first bowl victory after losing in the Camellia Bowl two years ago.

Key matchup

South Alabama’s run defense vs. Air Force’s triple-option attack. The Falcons are annually among the nation’s top rushing teams, finishing fourth in the FBS with 322.8 per game. South Alabama was 98th nationally at stopping the run, allowing 212.1 per game.

Orange Bowl

Matchup: No. 6 Michigan (10-2, Big Ten) vs. No. 10 Florida State (9-3, ACC)

Logistics: at Miami, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Michigan by 7.

Series record: Tied 1-1.

What’s at stake

Michigan looks to send its senior-dominated roster out the right way and not end the season on a two-game slide. Florida State is trying for its first bowl win since capturing the national title at the end of the 2013 season.

Key matchup

Michigan offensive line vs. Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker. Walker leads Florida State with 64 tackles – 15 of those being sacks.

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