Rutgers accepts offer to be substitute team for Gator Bowl, play Wake Forest

Rutgers will replace again Texas A&M is an opponent for Wake Forest during the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, it was announced on Thursday.

“This is an exciting time for Rutgers,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said in a statement. “I’m very happy for our players to be able to experience a great match atmosphere. Any time you can go out on the pitch and try your hand at some of the top talents in the country, which is what it is. That creates a huge opportunity for our players to grow and develop.”

The Gator Bowl is still scheduled to be played December 31 in Jacksonville, Florida (11 a.m. ET, ESPN).

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said in a statement: “Our stellar group of seniors deserves this proper dispatch as we compete for the championship next week. “[Rutgers] Coach Greg Schiano has done a great job and I have the utmost respect for him and his staff. We expect a very difficult game against a talented and well-trained team. “

Earlier on Thursday, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee decided that previous instructions to choose 5-7 teams to fill vacancies will remain, with the highest Multi-Year Learning Progress Rate being the biggest determining factor.

That means the Rutgers have the first chance of the 5-7 qualifying teams to be a substitute.

Texas A&M pulled out of the game Wednesday because of COVID-19 cases and other issues affecting its existing roster of players. Texas A&M athletic director, Ross Bjork, told ESPN that the program has 38 players in scholarship positions, of which 20 are in attack and defence.

The NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee also announced on Thursday that any bowling match could be moved to January 10 at the latest if the schools involved need more time to prepare.

The Scarlet Knights last played on November 27 with Maryland and was dropped from consideration a week later when the qualified teams filled every slot.

Rutgers last appeared in a bowl game in 2014, the second-longest post-season drought among Power 5 teams, behind Kansas. This will be the Scarlet Knights’ seventh bowl appearance with Schiano as coach.

Illinois (5-7) on Wednesday announced its desire to replace Texas A&M, sources told ESPN.

Andrea Adelson, Adam Rittenberg, Mark Schlabach, and ESPN’s Associated Press contributed to this report. Rutgers accepts offer to be substitute team for Gator Bowl, play Wake Forest

Jake Nichol

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