Wake Forest, Missouri meet for first time in Gasparilla Bowl

Missouri quarterback Brady Cook, left, runs past Arkansas linebacker Chris Paul Jr., right,...
Missouri quarterback Brady Cook, left, runs past Arkansas linebacker Chris Paul Jr., right, during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)(L.G. Patterson | AP)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 8:35 AM CST
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(AP) - Wake Forest and Missouri will square off the first time at the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.

The Demon Deacons stumbled down the stretch with four losses in five games, but feature the ACC’s No. 2 quarterback in Sam Hartman, who threw for more than 3,400 yards with 35 touchdowns.

The Tigers picked things up in the season’s second half by winning four of six and beating border rival Arkansas in the finale. Mizzou enters with the SEC’s No. 4 defense overall and against the run.

Wake Forest is making its seventh consecutive bowl appearance.

Wake Forest (7-5, ACC) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. EST

LOCATION: Tampa, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Wake Forest: QB Sam Hartman ranked second among ACC passers with 3,421 yards and tied for first with 35 touchdowns despite missing a game because of injury. He completed 63% of his attempts and tossed just 11 interceptions.

Missouri: DL Isaiah McGuire tied for fourth in the SEC with seven sacks, including two in the regular season finale against Arkansas. He had 39 tackles, including 24 solo stops.

NOTABLE

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons struggled down the stretch, losing four of five after reaching No. 10 in the AP Top 25 on Oct. 23.

Missouri: The Tigers won four of their final six games to become bowl eligible. They ranked fourth in SEC total defense (337.1 yards per game) and were fourth against the run (127.2).

LAST TIME

First meeting.

BOWL HISTORY

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are 10-6 lifetime. They are making their seventh consecutive bowl appearance and first in the Gasparilla Bowl. They topped Rutgers 38-10 in last year’s Gator Bowl.

Missouri: The Tigers are making their fourth bowl appearance in six seasons. They are 15-19 lifetime, including a 24-22 loss to Army last season in the Armed Forces Bowl.

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