2022 Cheez-It Bowl Week Recap

There’s no question which city woke up feelin’ the cheeziest this past holiday season as Orlando played host to both the Cheez-It Bowl (Florida State vs. Oklahoma on Dec. 29) and Cheez-It Citrus Bowl (LSU vs. Purdue on Jan. 2).


Before Team Arrivals

In preparation for double the Cheez-It bowl games, we brought back a familiar face while adding some extra hands to our “Cheez Operations” team. Relive the magic of bowl season and take a stroll down memory lane.


Day 1 – December 24

The arrival of the Oklahoma Sooners on Christmas Eve marked the official start of our bowl week.

Florida Citrus Sports staff and volunteers were on the tarmac at Orlando International Airport ready to welcome the Sooners to town.

Once situated at their hotel, Oklahoma players received their bowl gifts and enjoyed a night of food, games and relaxation at the Player Welcome Party.


Day 2 – December 25

The Sooners celebrated Christmas as a team in Orlando with their families. The morning started with brunch featuring a special visit from the jolly big red guy himself! Oklahoma ended the day with a night out at Universal Orlando.

In the afternoon, Florida State arrived in town and was greeted with a welcome party of their own.


Day 3 – December 26

Cheez-It went to new levels this year to make sure players could wake up feelin’ the cheeziest! The aged-to-perfection, 100% real cheese, baked cracker company signed four players — one from each participating team — to NIL deals, including the opportunity to stay in a custom-designed Cheez’d out hotel room.

In the afternoon, players and coaches from both Florida State and Oklahoma spoke with media for the first time during bowl week at the Player/Coordinator Press Conference. In between press conferences, members of the media were treated to lunch courtesy of Cholo Dogs. Their menu of gourmet hot dogs included the glorious Prince CheddWEEN shown below.

In the evening, both teams were treated to a night out at Topgolf. Between long drives and pinpoint approach shots, players from both teams were put on the spot with some hard-hitting questions from our junior reporters.


Day 4 – December 27

On Tuesday, players spent their morning at Fun Spot America for Day for Kids, enjoying the park’s rides and attractions with children from the Orlando community.

You can check out more highlights from Florida State and Oklahoma’s visit below.

The players and kids weren’t the only ones enjoying their time at Fun Spot America!

The fun didn’t stop there, however. Following practice, the Sooners visited SeaWorld where they made some new friends and took on some of Orlando’s best roller coasters. Seal selfies, or should we say sealfies, were a big hit among the Sooners.


Day 5 – December 28

As we entered the final day before Cheez-It Bowl game day, a casual conversation at media hospitality led to simple tweet which caused a viral debate about the correct plural form of Cheez-It.

Spoiler Alert: It’s Cheez-It crackers.

In the afternoon, Sooners and Seminoles fans gathered at Pointe Orlando on International Drive to cheer on their teams at the official Cheez-It Bowl Pep Rally.


Game Day – December 29

Cheez-It Bowl game day started at Park Ave. in Winter Park where the Pride of Oklahoma and Marching Chiefs performed in the street before commencing in a short battle during the Cheez-It Bowl Parade of Bands.

The pregame festivities continued over at Camping World Stadium with a four-hour pregame party in FanFest. Also keeping the game day environment electric this year is the debut of Camping World Stadium’s new LED lights.

The game provided its own theatrics from the teams’ signature entrances to Prince Cheddward’s royal coin toss and of course the high-octane fourth quarter that set the Cheez-It Bowl record for most points in a single quarter with 32.

With the score deadlocked at 32 late in the game, Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis connected with Johnny Wilson on a 58-yard pass that put Florida State deep in Sooner territory setting up the game-winning field goal from Ryan Fitzgerald with under a minute left.

 

More than 61,000 fans in the stands — and on the field — were roaring from start to finish as the 2001 National Championship rematch lived up to the hype. The victory ends a four-year postseason winless streak for the ‘Noles and is perhaps the tastiest one yet. You can relive more of the game day fun with our Instagram Highlights.

Not only did the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl deliver the highest attendance in over a decade for the game, but it also was one of the most-watched games of bowl season. The game finished 7th across all bowl games in terms of rating, and finished second among non-CFP bowl games, trailing only the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

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