Who plays in the Fiesta Bowl this year? Teams, date, schedule for New Year’s 6 bowl game

Written By Billy Heyen
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(SN/Getty)

The Fiesta Bowl celebrates its golden anniversary on Jan. 2, 2021, but it'll be a celebration lacking noise.

A year ago, the Fiesta Bowl played host to the College Football Playoff semifinal between Ohio State and Clemson. This season, it's back in its normal role as a New Year's Six bowl, lowering the marquee nature of its matchup, which in this edition will feature No. 25 Oregon (4-2) against No. 10 Iowa State (8-3). Due to COVID-19's rise in Arizona into the winter months, the 2021 Fiesta Bowl will also be played without fans.

The Ducks weren't even supposed to play in the Pac-12 Championship, but COVID-19 issues pushed Oregon into action Saturday, and a win brought them to the Fiesta Bowl. Iowa State couldn't win the Big 12 title against Oklahoma but still gets a chance at a New Year's Six bowl.

Here, you'll find the info you need to know about watching the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2021, along with what to expect from the teams chosen to play in the game.

MORE: College Football Playoff isn't fair, but don't blame teams who made it

When is the Fiesta Bowl 2021?

  • Date:  Jan. 2
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV broadcast:  ESPN
  • Location:  State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

The 2021 Fiesta Bowl marks the 50th playing of the game since its inception in 1971. The game has always been played in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and it's been in Glendale at the now-named State Farm Stadium since 2007. 

Who plays in the Fiesta Bowl 2021?

The 2021 Fiesta Bowl will feature the Big 12 runner-up, No. 10 Iowa State, against the Pac-12 champion, No. 25 Oregon.

What to know about Iowa State vs. Oregon

Lucky Ducks

Oregon wasn't supposed to play in the Pac-12 Championship game. The Ducks were second in their division to Washington. But the Huskies were hit hard by COVID-19, which pushed Oregon into the title game against USC.

Not only did the Ducks get to play USC, but they won the conference championship game for a second consecutive year. That was good enough to play in the Fiesta Bowl.

Brock's the rock

Iowa State's offensive leader is junior quarterback Brock Purdy. He's been a three-year starter for the Cyclones, and in the last two seasons, he's been especially good.

Combining Purdy's 2019 and 2020 stats gives a total 45 touchdown passes compared to 18 interceptions. He's also a career 66.1 percent passer. And he's a solid runner, too, surpassing 240 yards on the ground in all three of his college seasons. 

Three-Duck ground attack

Dating back to the Chip Kelly days, Oregon has been known for attacking on the ground both via the quarterback's legs and with multiple running backs. That's the case in 2020, although statistical totals aren't especially impressive due to only six games for the Ducks so far.

Quarterback Tyler Shough has averaged 4.2 yards per carry this season, while running back Travis Dye (7.0 ypc) and running back CJ Verdell (4.4 ypc) have teamed with Shough to provide plenty of danger out of the backfield. 

Fiesta Bowl odds

Sporting News will have Fiesta Bowl odds when they become available.

Where is Fiesta Bowl being played in 2021?

As usual, the Fiesta Bowl is being played in the greater Phoenix area, and like every year since 2007, it's at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Arizona, it was announced in early December that there'll be no fans at the Fiesta Bowl. That's consistent with the recent order that stopped fans from attending games of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. 

New Year's Six Bowl schedule 2021

All of this year's New Year's Six Bowl games are televised on ESPN.

Date Bowl Matchup Time (ET)
Dec. 30 Cotton Bowl (6) Oklahoma vs. (7) Florida 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 1 Peach Bowl (8) Cincinnati vs. (9) Georgia 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 1 Rose Bowl (1) Alabama vs. (4) Notre Dame 5:00 p.m.
Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl (2) Clemson vs. (3) Ohio State 8:45 p.m.
Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl (25) Oregon vs. (10) Iowa State 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 2 Orange Bowl (5) Texas A&M vs. (13) North Carolina 8:00 p.m.

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