ATLANTA, GA -– The first New Year’s Six bowl matchup of 2015 will see American Athletic Conference Champion (18) Houston take on (9) Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as announced by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
The 48th annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will host its matchup of two top-20 teams on Dec. 31 at 12:00 p.m. ET from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN.
“This certainly should be an exciting game between two very potent offenses with a lot of star power,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl president and CEO. “With All ACC and Heisman hopeful tailback Dalvin Cook and All AAC quarterback Greg ward, Jr., this is the type of game you look forward to kick off the slate of New Year’s Six bowl games and a great matchup of Houston’s 12th-ranked offense against FSU’s 5th-ranked defense.”
Houston (12-1, 7-1 AAC) will play in its first Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and enters the game as champions of the American Athletic Conference. Led by AAC Coach of the Year Tom Herman, the Cougars’ final three wins of the season came over (21) Memphis, (15) Navy and (22) Temple. Houston completed only its second 12-win campaign in program history (2011) running the nation’s eighth-highest scoring offense at 42 points per game. Standout quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. threw for 2,590 yards with 16 touchdowns and ran for 1,041 yards and an additional 19 scores.
Florida State (10-2, 6-2 ACC) will return to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for the first time since 2010 when it defeated South Carolina 26-17. The Seminoles finished second to (1) Clemson in the ACC-Atlantic and capped the season with three straight wins including a 27-2 win over SEC East Champion Florida. Florida State features an explosive offense averaging 32.3 points per game and the sixth-rated scoring defense in the nation that allowed only 15.8 points per game. Heisman hopeful Dalvin Cook led the ACC in both rushing yards (1,658) and touchdowns (19).
“We are extremely honored to be selected for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and represent the University and City of Houston as we face a very strong test in Florida State. This is something we’ve been looking forward to since January,” said Tom Herman, Houston head coach. “Our goal was to build a championship culture at the University of Houston and we knew for our program to play in a game of this magnitude, we were going to need to accomplish one of our goals and win The American Championship. We know our season is not over and we look forward to reaching one more goal with a Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Championship.”
"We are honored and excited to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. We’ve had a tremendous season and it will be great to end the year in one of the premier New Year’s Six Bowls in a fantastic city like Atlanta," said Jimbo Fisher, Florida State head coach. "I couldn’t be prouder of how this team has grown this year. We are looking forward to facing a great Houston team that is very explosive on offense and dynamic on defense."
***Courtesy Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Communications