Texas Tech accepts Sanford Independence Bowl bid

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NCAA.com Wire
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December 6, 1998

Lubbock, TX - After weeks of anticipation, the Texas Tech football team learned on Sunday where it will be going bowling during the holiday season.

The Red Raiders will spend New Years Eve in Shreveport La., in a contest with Ole Miss at the Sanford Independence Bowl.

Texas Tech Athletic Director Gerald Myers officially accepted the invitation to the Sanford Independence Bowl on Sunday.

"We graciously accept the invitation extended by the Sanford Independence Bowl to play Mississippi on Dec. 31 in Shreveport," Myers said. "Our fans are excited about the opportunity to travel to Shreveport, take part in all of the wonderful bowl activities and watch a great college football matchup. We are looking forward to the hospitality of the bowl committee and the people of Shreveport/Bossier City."

Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes expressed his excitement about playing in the New Years Eve game in a press conference held Sunday evening at Texas Techs athletic offices.

"The Sanford Independence Bowl is a tremendous opportunity for us," Dykes said. "Theyve gone overboard to make it one of the best bowls in the country. I think its a great reward for a long, hard season."

Sundays selection of Texas Tech and Mississippi for the Sanford Independence Bowl sets up a rematch of the 1986 Independence Bowl, which Mississippi won 20-17. The 1986 game also marked the beginning of Dykes tenure at the helm of the Texas Tech program.

This time around, David Cutcliffe, who comes to Mississippi from the University of Tennessee where he was the Volunteers offensive coordinator, will make his debut as the head coach at Ole Miss. Cutcliffe replaced former Rebel coach Tommy Tuberville when Tuberville left Mississippi at the end of the regular season to become the head coach at Auburn.

"I think its ironic that were playing Ole Miss," Dykes said. "I hope it will turn out the same for the new kid on the block."

Dykes said he is wary of the new offensive scheme that Cutcliffe will bring to the Mississippi program. The Red Raiders last faced a Cutcliffe offense when Texas Tech opened the 1997 season at Tennessee. Peyton Manning and the Volunteer offense helped Tennessee overpower the Raiders 52-17.

This season Cutcliffe helped lead Tennessee to a 12-0 record and he is fresh off an SEC Championship game in which Tennessee scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win 24-14.

Texas Tech defensive end Montae Reagor said that watching the bowl picture unfold on Saturday and Sunday increased his anticipation of the Red Raiders chance to play in the post season.

We had a good feeling that we were going to the Independence Bowl for a long time," Reagor said. "With different teams losing yesterday, there for a minute we didnt know where we were going. We hope to prepare well for this game. Were going to try to win and end on a good note."

Texas Tech became bowl eligible on Oct. 10 when the Raiders defeated Oklahoma State 24-17 to run their season record to 6-0.

Despite losing four of its final five games of the regular season, a 42-35 win over Texas and a 7-4 mark elevated Texas Tech to post season play for the fifth time in six seasons.

Ticket orders will be filled on a priority basis: a) football option holders who are Red Raider Club members; b) football option holders; c) season ticket holders; and d) general public.

The Athletic Ticket Office will be mailing a ticket order form to all option and season ticket holders and single-game ticket buyers in 1997 or 1998 that should be received within a few days. Those order forms must be returned by Dec. 18 to ensure priority seating. In person or telephone orders will not affect ticket purchase priority. All orders will be processed through the order cards distributed through the mail.

All seating will be assigned based on priority beginning Dec. 19.

General public and over-the-counter orders are being taken beginning Wednesday, Dec. 9 at the Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 1-888-go-Big12. All general public orders will be filled as quickly as possible following the priority distribution process.

Ticket prices are $25, $30, and $35.

Texas Tech Bowl Game Press Conference 1998 Sanford Independence Bowl Texas Tech vs. Mississippi December 6, 1998 Head Coach Spike Dykes

"We are extremely excited, this is the sixth year in a row that we have qualified for a bowl and I am very proud of our players for that and what they have done. It is not easy to do that. This has been a season where we have had some good moments and some low moments. The Independence Bowl is a tremendous opportunity for us. I dont think we have ever played in a more popular bowl as far as our fans and players are concerned. Shreveport has gone overboard to make it one of the better bowl games. I have talked to several friends at Notre Dame and LSU, who played there last year, and they said it (Independence Bowl) was one of the most outstanding experiences they have ever had. I think it is a great reward for a hard fought season. We are just very excited."

"I find it very ironic that we are playing Ole Miss. I started my tenure at Texas Tech in the Independence Bowl against Ole Miss. It was a real funny situation. David McWilliams left, and if we won the game he was going to get credit and if we lost, I was going to get the loss. But, we lost the game so I started out with a loss. This year, we play the same team in the same bowl and now they have got a new head coach. Hopefully, the turnout will be the same as it was the last time for the new kid on the block. I have a great feeling about returning there, since that is where it all started for me. That was a very big night in my life and a very big occasion. Hopefully, I will be better prepared than I was last time."

On Ole Miss

"We arent going to know anything about them until we kick it off. David Cutcliff, their new head coach, is coming from Tennessee where he was the offensive coordinator. We know plenty about Tennessee because we played them in the season opener last year. I think that by this time in the year, our guys have seen just about everything on both sides of the ball. We will have a game plan that takes effect when the game starts."




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