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Tampa native Micah McFadden prepares Outback Bowl homecoming

Indiana faces Ole Miss on Saturday
Posted at 2:55 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 17:59:37-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Fifteen college football bowl games have been canceled due to COVID-19, but the 35th Outback Bowl is slated for kickoff this Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

Indiana (6-1) is set to meet Ole Miss (4-5) at 12:30 p.m.

The game will be extra special for Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden. The Tampa native is a Plant High School graduate who's only been to Ray J as a fan. Now he gets the chance to take the field himself.

"I have been to Raymond James a few times for the few Tampa Bay Buccaneer games. I actually went to the Bucs game when John Lynch was inducted into the Ring of Honor," McFadden said via video chat. "It is going to mean a lot. I have a lot of family coming. I think it will be close to 45 people that will be at the game. It will be really exciting. I cannot wait to play in front of a big crowd for once this season."

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin's been dealing with injuries and opt-outs all season. But he says they're not even discussing the possibility that the game could be canceled.

"This is where we’re at. We’re recruiting our own players to play in a bowl game. They never played [a bowl game]. It is what it is," Kiffin said at his news conference.

He said the challenge is to play well and earn a win because he wants all of his players to remember that they ended the season the right way.

"When you go in that [indoor practice facility] and you see that [Outback Bowl] banner, what do you want that banner to say- when you bring your kids here someday?"