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Orange Bowl to pit Florida against Virginia

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Orange Bowl to pit Florida against Virginia

Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins (3) tosses a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against the Virginia Tech in Charlottesville, Va., Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. Virginia defeated Virginia Tech 39-30. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

No. 9 Florida (10-2, SEC) vs. No. 24 Virginia (9-4, ACC), Dec. 30, 8 p.m. ET

LOCATION: Miami Gardens, Florida


Florida: QB Kyle Trask, 2,636 yards passing, 24 touchdowns.

Virginia: QB Bryce Perkins, 3,960 total yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 11 rushing touchdowns.


Florida: The Gators' only losses were to playoff-bound LSU and SEC finalist Georgia. Virginia will be the ''home'' team for the game but Florida - with a massive fan base in the Miami area - will unquestionably have the bulk of the crowd. Gators coach Dan Mullen inherited a rebuild after Florida went 4-7 in 2017, and he's posted two straight 10-win seasons since taking over in Gainesville. And with a win, the Gators would have back-to-back top-10 finishes in the AP poll for the first time since 2008 and 2009.

Virginia: Hard Rock Stadium has not been kind to the Cavaliers. Virginia is 1-8 in that stadium, including 0-3 in bowl games there and a loss to Miami earlier this season. The three bowl losses in that stadium came by a combined 86 points. But the Cavaliers' win total has increased in three straight seasons under coach Bronco Mendenhall, who was 2-10 in his debut 2016 campaign there - followed by records of 6-7, 8-5 and now 9-4 entering this matchup. The Cavaliers haven't finished a season ranked in the AP Top 25 since 2004, and could change that this year.


Florida 55, Virginia 10 (Oct. 3, 1959)


Florida: Fourth appearance in the Orange Bowl (not including BCS title game after 2008 season), 45th bowl appearance in school history.

Virginia: First appearance in the Orange Bowl, 21st bowl appearance in school history.


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and http://twitter.com/ap-top25