Illinois is headed west for its first bowl game since 2014!

The destination for the Illini is Santa Clara, California for the Redbox Bowl. On the other side, Illinois will be facing off with California for the contest.

Playing in the postseason allows Illinois a shot at its first winning season since 2011. It is also an opportunity to continue the growth of the program by getting the young players a chance to practice and play meaningful snaps.

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Following Sunday’s announcement of the bowl, head coach Lovie Smith addressed the opportunity ahead of the team. Jeremy Werner with the Illini Inquirer shared Smith’s comments:

This year’s Redbox Bowl is set to kick off on Dec. 30 at 4 pm EST. Coverage will be on FOX.