Derrick Washington and his Tiger teammates will face off against a potent Navy rushing attack.
Dec. 6, 2009
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri has accepted an invitation to play in the 2009 Texas Bowl, as announced today by Mizzou and Texas Bowl officials.
The Tigers (8-4 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play, 2nd in the Big 12 North Division) will play in the 4th annual edition of the game, set for Dec. 31st in Houston, Texas, against the United States Naval Academy (8-4, with one game left to play on Dec. 12th against Army). The game will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. (central) from Reliant Stadium (home of the NFL's Houston Texans) and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
The game will mark MU's fifth-consecutive bowl game (an MU record), and sixth bowl appearance in the last seven seasons overall under Head Coach Gary Pinkel, after Mizzou had gone to only two bowl games in a span of 19 seasons dating from 1984-2002. Pinkel has now tied College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dan Devine for most bowl appearances at Mizzou, with his six bowl outings. The Texas Bowl appearance will be Mizzou's 27th bowl game overall, with MU holding a 12-14 mark in its previous 26 outings.
"We are very pleased to accept an invitation to the Texas Bowl," said MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel. "Houston is an important recruiting area for our program, and we've got over 30 players on our roster from the state of Texas, so that is a huge positive for Mizzou. We have a lot of respect for Navy on and off the field certainly, and in terms of the game, we will need to be prepared to go out and play our best against a very good football team that present some unique challenges," he said.
"We are excited to be going to a bowl game for the fifth straight season, which has never been done before at Mizzou," said Director of Athletics Mike Alden. "The Texas Bowl is a great opportunity for Coach Pinkel to continue what's been an outstanding season for the Tigers, and I think a Mizzou-Navy matchup on national television is a very attractive game that will provide great exposure for the University. We look forward to helping the Texas Bowl staff put on a great event, and we encourage our fans to join us in the city of Houston," he said.
Mizzou and Navy have played two times previously, with MU holding a 2-0 record in the series. The last meeting between the two came in the 1961 Orange Bowl, when the Tigers claimed a 21-14 win over the Midshipmen. The only other meeting between the two was a 1948 game played in Annapolis, when Mizzou won by a 35-14 count.
Navy features the nation's 3rd-ranked rushing offense, as the Midshipmen average 279.67 yards per game on the ground. That provides an interesting matchup on paper, as Mizzou's defense has excelled at stopping the run in 2009, ranking 12th in the NCAA in rushing defense, allowing just 96.42 yards per game. Navy has signature wins this season at Notre Dame (23-21) and Air Force (16-13 in overtime at home), and they also took Ohio State to the limit to open the season, before falling 31-27 in Columbus, Ohio.
The Mizzou Athletic Ticket Office will begin taking online orders for the Texas Bowl beginning tonight (Sunday, Dec. 6th) at 7 p.m. (central time), at www.mutigers.com. Fans may also order over the phone by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS (884-PAWS in Columbia) or in person at the Mizzou Arena Ticket Office beginning Monday (Dec. 7th) at 8 a.m., but are strongly encouraged to order online to ensure prompt service. Mizzou's tickets are priced from a range of $25 to $75.
The Mizzou Alumni Association will host the Official Mizzou Texas Bowl Tour Dec. 30 - Jan. 1. Full air/land and land-only packages are available to Houston. To join the Official Mizzou Texas Bowl Tour visit www.MizzouSportsTravel.com or call 888-MIZZOU-1 (649-9681). The Association will plan bowl events for Tiger fans including a pre-game tailgate. Details will be released shortly.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE TEXAS BOWL
- This year's game will be the 4th installment of the Texas Bowl. The bowl has been affiliated with the Big 12 Conference ever since its inception in 2006, and in 2010, it will pair teams from the Big 12 against the Big Ten Conference. Also beginning in 2010, the Texas Bowl will hold the fifth choice among Big 12 bowls, after the BCS bowls are announced. The bowl has held the seventh choice for its first four years...
- Previous results of the Texas Bowl include:
- 2006 - Rutgers 37, Kansas State 10 (NFL Network)
- 2007 - TCU 20, Houston 13 (NFL Network)
- 2008 - Rice 38, Western Michigan 14 (NFL Network)
- MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel is 4-2 in bowl games as a Head Coach, including 3-2 at Mizzou. Mizzou won a 30-23 overtime game in the 2008 Alamo Bowl last season against Northwestern, one year after it cruised to a 38-7 win against 25th-ranked Arkansas in the 2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Prior to that, the Tigers dropped a last-second heartbreaker in the 2006 Brut Sun Bowl to Oregon State (39-38), after gaining MU's first bowl win since 1998 with a 38-31 win over South Carolina in the 2005 Independence Bowl. Prior to that, Pinkel's Tigers were defeated by Arkansas (27-14) in the 2003 MainStay Independence Bowl, and Pinkel's Toledo Rockets won a 40-37 overtime game against Nevada in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl...
- The bowl game will be the 18th of Pinkel's coaching career overall, including his assistant coaching days with Don James at Washington. Pinkel's teams have won 12-of-17 bowl games, including going 8-3 at Washington, 1-0 at Toledo, and 3-2 at Mizzou...
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