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Florida State football is set to play in its first bowl game since 2019 in the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma.
The No. 13 Seminoles (9-3) will face the Sooners (6-6) in the Dec. 29 bowl game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando (5:30 p.m. on ESPN).
FSU is seeking its first 10-win season since 2016, when it also last defeated both Miami and Florida, and won the Orange Bowl.
First-year Sonners’ head coach Brent Venables will seek to avoid the first losing season for Oklahoma (6-6) since 1998, the year before Bob Stoops took over as head coach in Norman, Okla.
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FSU head coach Mike Norvell (17-16) is over .500 for the first time in his career with FSU.
Florida State opened the season with four straight wins before dropping three in a row in a midseason lull. The Seminoles rebounded to win five straight to close out the regular season, including a blowout victory over the Hurricanes (45-3) and a nail-biter against the Gators (45-38).
Oklahoma got the season off to a 3-0 start but finished the season 3-6, including a 49-0 loss to rival Texas. The Sooners did have victories over two ranked opponents Kansas (52-42) and Oklahoma State (28-13) in the final stretch.
OU lost its season-finale 51-48 to Texas Tech in overtime.
Here are three things to know about Oklahoma and the Cheez-It Bowl.
OU leads the all-time series between the two programs 6-1, with the Sooners winning each of the last six meetings. Oklahoma topped FSU 23-13 in a battle of top-five teams during Week 3 of the 2011 season.
The Sooners also defeated the Seminoles 47-17 in the 2010 season in Norman.
The two have squared off three times in the Orange Bowl, including the 2001 National Championship game, a 13-2 win for Oklahoma. It was the second season as head coach for Stoops, facing off against legendary coach Bobby Bowden.
Top-ranked OU entered the championship game as 10½-point underdogs against No. 2 FSU.
Neither team scored a TD until Quentin Griffin scored on a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter. The Sooners led 6-0 entering the final stanza.
The Seminoles scored their two points on a botched punt attempt by the Sooners, resulting in a safety late in the fourth quarter.
FSU out-gained OU 301-270 despite the loss.
The lone Seminoles victory in the series was a 36-19 victory in the 1956 Gator Bowl.
Venables, a familiar face
A Venables-led defense is nothing new for the Seminoles to face. Venables served as the defensive coordinator for Clemson from 2012 until last season. In 2016, he earned the Broyles Award for the nation's top assistant coach.
The Tigers were a top-10 defense across many statistical categories during Venables’ tenure as DC.
In his first season at Oklahoma, he has not seen the defense carry over from his Clemson days. The Sooners allowed 189 rushing yards per game, which ranks 109th nationally. They are also allowing 450.5 yards per game (120th).
Oklahoma has allowed at least 40 points to opponents five times this season.
On the flip side, the Sooners' offense has been led by quarterback Dillon Gabriel. Gabriel, a UCF transfer, garnered Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors after completing 215 of 342 passes (62.9%) for 2,920 yards and 24 touchdowns with six interceptions.
Oklahoma ranks 18th in the nation with 472.2 yards per game and 35th with 32.9 points per game.
No offense the Seminoles faced this season ranked ahead of the Sooners in yards per game and only Wake Forest averaged more points per game.
Florida (31.8 PPG, 38th) exposed some weaknesses in the FSU defense, as the Seminoles allowed a season-high of 35 points against, 460 total yards and 262 rushing yards.
Venables said star running back Eric Gray and both starting offensive tackles, Wanya Morris and Anton Harrison are opting out of the game, which could hurt the OU offense.
FSU and Cheez-It history
The Cheez-It Bowl has gone through several name changes: Blockbuster (1990–1993), Carquest (1994–1997), MicronPC (1998–2000), Florida Tourism (2001), Mazda (2002–2003), Champs Sports (2004–2011), Russell Athletic (2012–2016), Camping World (2017–2019) and Cheez-It (2020–present).
The bowl was played in MIami Gardens from 1990-2000, but has been played in Orlando since 2001.
FSU has consistently won when playing in the bowl, with a 3-0 record.
The No. 6 Seminoles defeated No. 7 Penn State 24-17 in the then-Blockbuster Bowl.
Under the name of the Champs Sports Bowl, FSU defeated Wisconsin (42-13) in 2008 and Notre Dame (18-14) in 2011.
The Seminoles own a 28–17–3 record in bowl games and played in 36 consecutive bowl games from 1982-2017.
The Seminoles' last bowl game was a 20-14 loss to Arizona State in the Sun Bowl. The last victory was a 42-13 win over Southern Mississippi in 2017.
Who: No. 13 Florida State vs. Oklahoma
When/Where: Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.; Camping World Stadium in Orlando
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Seminole football: 3 things to know about history with Sooners, Cheez-It Bowl