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LSU Football to Face UCF in PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s 50th bowl appearance will come against undefeated and eighth-ranked UCF in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on January 1, 2019, the College Football Playoff Committee announced on Sunday.

Kickoff for the contest is set for noon CT from State Farm Stadium, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Tickets in LSU Sections

LSU enters the contest ranked No. 11 in the nation and brings a 9-3 overall into what will be its first meeting with UCF. The Knights are 12-0 and bring a 25-game winning streak into the New Year’s Day game against LSU.

LSU will be making its 19th consecutive bowl appearance, the fourth-longest streak in college football. The Tigers have also won at least eight games for 19 consecutive years, which ties with Oklahoma for the longest current streak among Power 5 schools along with Oklahoma.

LSU has reached a bowl game every year since 2000 when the Tigers beat Georgia Tech, 28-14, in the Peach Bowl. Since then, LSU has claimed two national championships and won four Southeastern Conference titles.

“What an honor for our football team,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said on Sunday afternoon. “Our team deserved the very best reward at the end of the season that was possible. We feel that we got that with a chance to play in the Fiesta Bowl. What a prestigious matchup on New Year’s Day in a New Year’s Six Bowl against UCF.

“It’s a reward for our young men that worked very hard. I thought we had a good season. These guys started off unknown and had some very big wins throughout the season. This is a great reward for our football team, a very well-deserved New Year’s Day Six Bowl. It’s a great step for the Tigers.”

Against UCF, the Tigers will face a Knight squad that beat Memphis, 56-41, to claim the American Athletic title on Saturday. The Knights, who went 13-0 in 2017, haven’t lost a game since dropping a 31-13 decision to Arkansas State in the 2016 Cure Bowl.

“Coach Josh Heupel has done a tremendous job,” Orgeron said of the first-year UCF coach. “They have a 25-game winning streak. This is going to be a challenge for our football team. It’s a great matchup.”

Oregon will be leading the Tigers to a bowl for the third time. The Tigers beat Louisville, 29-9, in the Citrus Bowl in 2017 and then followed that with a last-second loss to Notre Dame in last year’s Citrus Bowl.

Under Orgeron, the Tigers have compiled a 24-9 overall mark, which includes a 9-4 record in 2017 and a 6-2 mark in 2016 when Orgeron served as the interim coach.

Orgeron said the Tigers will return to bowl practice following final exams next week and will be excited about the opportunity to play in UCF in the Fiesta Bowl.

“We are highly motivated,” Orgeron said. “This is where our team wanted to go. When the possibilities to going to certain bowls came out, our team wanted to go to the Fiesta Bowl. We respect UCF. We are going to be highly motivated. We are not happy with the way the season ended in the last game, and our guys are going to be ready to play.”

College Football Playoffs/New Year's Six Pairings

"New Year's Six" Bowls
Chick-fil-A Peach, Dec. 29, 11 a.m. CT - Florida vs. Michigan
PlayStation Fiesta, Jan. 1, 12 p.m. CT - LSU vs. UCF
Rose pres. by Northwestern Mutual, Jan. 1, 4 p.m. CT - Washington vs. Ohio St. 
Allstate Sugar, Jan. 1, 7:45 p.m. CT - Texas vs. Georgia

CFP Semifinals
Goodyear Cotton, Dec. 29, 3 p.m., No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame
Capital One Orange, Dec. 29, 7 p.m. CT, No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

College Football Playoff
Final Rankings

Rank, Team, Record
1. Alabama, 13-0
2. Clemson, 13-0
3. Notre Dame, 12-0
4. Oklahoma, 12-1
5. Georgia, 11-2
6. Ohio St., 12-1
7. Michigan, 10-2
8. UCF, 12-0
9. Washington, 10-3
10. Florida, 9-3
11. LSU, 9-3
12. Penn St., 9-3
13. Washington St., 10-2
14. Kentucky, 9-3
15. Texas, 9-4
16. West Virginia, 8-3
17. Utah, 9-4
18. Mississippi St., 8-4
19. Texas A&M, 8-4
20. Syracuse, 9-3
21. Fresno St., 11-2
22. Northwestern, 8-5
23. Missouri, 8-4
24. Iowa St., 8-4
25. Boise St., 10-3

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