Date: Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox
Location: Levi's Stadium | Santa Clara, California
Best moment: Running back Devine Redding powered Indiana into the end zone and into its second consecutive bowl game with a fourth-quarter score against rival Purdue. Beating the Boilermakers for the fourth straight year capped a six-win season and also marked only the fifth time in program history that the team won both its Big Ten rivalry games against Purdue and Michigan State.
Lowest moment: Five interceptions against Wake Forest in late September led to the Hoosiers’ first loss of the season and some serious doubt about those bowl chances. With a loss in the nonconference schedule, the Hoosiers didn’t have a ton of room for error during the Big Ten season. From there, transfer quarterback Richard Lagow managed to take better care of the ball (to be fair, he did throw for nearly 500 yards in the loss) and Indiana eventually got the wins it needed.
Key player: Mitchell Paige may not be the home run threat that some of Indiana’s other wide receivers present, but he’s the player that opponents would be wise to keep on their radar. He leads the team in receptions and has used his slippery running style effectively whether he’s catching passes, running sweeps or returning punts.
Motivation level: High, but with coach Kevin Wilson suddenly out of the picture, it’s a wild card for the Hoosiers. Indiana has not won a bowl game since 1991, which means there’s a good chance there is no one on the Hoosiers’ roster who has been alive for a postseason victory in Bloomington. That should be enough to get the troops excited about a late December trip. -- Dan Murphy
Best moment: The Utes trailed USC by two scores late but came storming back to grab a dramatic win. Troy Williams led a 93-yard drive to give Utah a 31-27 victory, hitting Tim Patrick for a touchdown with 16 seconds left. That September win is even more impressive in retrospect: That was the last time USC lost.
Lowest moment: Oregon’s Justin Herbert threw a touchdown pass to Darren Carrington to beat Utah, 30-28, with two seconds left. That loss knocked the Utes out of the Pac-12 title race. Utah managed only 51 combined points in losses to the Ducks and California, the Pac-12’s two worst defenses -- both giving up over 40 points per game.
Key player: Running back Joe Williams returned from a four-game in-season retirement to scorch box scores from mid-October until the end of the season. He racked up 1,110 yards over five games -- 222 yards per game -- in a tear that shocked many and included a 332-yard effort at UCLA.
Motivation level: Questionable. The Utes were in serious Pac-12 title contention until very recently, before they suffered deflating season-ending losses to Oregon and Colorado. That made the 8-4 finish to the regular season disappointing. If Kyle Whittingham doesn’t effectively rally the troops, there’s a real chance of a bowl hangover here. -- David Lombardi