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Press Release

MERCARI NAMED THE NEW TITLE SPONSOR OF THE TEXAS BOWL

HOUSTON – Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and ESPN Events today announced Mercari, Inc. (Mercari US) as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl, an annual collegiate postseason showdown between teams from the Big 12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference. Entering its 15th year, the Mercari Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans.  The title sponsorship with Mercari US is being managed by its advertising agency of record, Rain the Growth Agency, and was brokered by Denver-based Impression Sports & Entertainment.  

The 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. CT, at NRG Stadium in Houston and will air on ESPN. The bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events.

The Mercari Texas Bowl has ranked fifth in bowl game attendance since 2016, averaging over 65,000 attendees annually and trailing only the Rose, Peach, Fiesta and Orange Bowls in that time. The Bowl will host up to 13,300 fans this year at NRG Stadium due to COVID-19 parameters.

“Mercari is thrilled to serve as the title sponsor of the Mercari Texas Bowl in Houston, Texas” said John Lagerling, CEO of Mercari US. “This has been a challenging year for many Americans, and Mercari is committed to supporting the needs of everyone who loves and contributes to our marketplace. At its core, Mercari is about connecting people and we are looking forward to bringing football fans around the country together to enjoy the storied tradition of this iconic game."

The Bowl has generated an average impact of over $30 million annually for the Houston economy. Through the Bowl’s relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, nearly $2 million in financial support has also been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

“We are excited to welcome Mercari as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl,” said David Fletcher, Executive Director of the Mercari Texas Bowl. “The Mercari Texas Bowl has become one of the biggest college football events in the country through a strong partnership with the Big 12, SEC and many great supporters in the Houston community. We are thrilled to add a partner in Mercari, one of the most exciting new brands and e-commerce platforms in the U.S., to further elevate the event and the experience.”

In the 2019 Bowl, the Texas A&M Aggies were victorious over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a 24-21 shootout in front of a crowd of 68,415. The 2019 game was among the top-five most-attended bowls in the country for the fourth consecutive year and was also one of the top-ten most watched bowl games of 2019.

For more information on tickets and safety protocols in place for attendees, visit mercaritexasbowl.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

About Mercari US
Mercari is your marketplace. Our platform connects millions of people across the U.S. to shop and sell items no longer being used. Mercari is constantly innovating to make exchanges easier, from at-home authentication to improvements in online payments and shipping. Mercari has more than 50 million downloads in the U.S. and 350,000 new listings every day, empowering the next generation to transform the way they shop. Mercari can be downloaded on app stores or accessed online through www.mercari.com

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as one of the leading sports event promoters in the country. In addition to hosting the Mercari Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff annually, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. Tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring music superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.

Rain the Growth Agency
Rain the Growth Agency is an independent, women-led, performance-minded, fully integrated advertising agency. We link strategy, creative and production with audience targeting, dynamic media buying and advanced analytics to achieve sales and branding goals simultaneously, without compromise. Our holistic Transactional Brand Building approach produces transformational growth for clients ranging from DTC fast companies and category disruptors to established brands with traditional models. For more than 20 years, we have been scaling businesses such as Peloton, Chewy, Wayfair, LendingTree, Humana, 23andMe, SimpliSafe and 1-800 Contacts. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon and co-founded in 1998 by Michelle Cardinal, our agency has grown to over 250 employees in four offices across the U.S.

 

Impression Sports & Entertainment
Impression Sports & Entertainment provides clients with full-service sponsorship sales representation, sponsorship consulting and venue naming rights services. Founded in 2011, Impression Sports is one of the leading firms in the business, led by its staff’s widespread industry experience and results-driven approach. Impression Sports partners with top organizations in the sports world including USC, Florida Citrus Sports, The Independence Bowl Foundation, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Auburn University, the Fiesta Bowl Organization, USA Swimming, Sun Bowl Association and ESPN Events among others. 

Based in Denver, Impression Sports is owned by Home Team Sports, a sports marketing unit of FOX Sports.  Home Team Sports helps fans extend love for their home teams to the brands that associate with and support them. Through its proud representation of all regional sports networks across the country and an ever-expanding portfolio, Home Team Sports provides game coverage of all MLB, NBA and NHL home teams in the U.S., reaching over 90 million homes across television and streaming platforms. 

CONTACT:
Mercari: Tiffany Olson, tiffany.olson@mercari.com 
Rain the Growth Agency: Steve Miller, 503-222-0025, steve.miller@rainforgrowth.com 
Mercari Texas Bowl and LSSE Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com 
ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com; @ItsAnnaNegron

Press Release

Semifinalists for the 2020 Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year Announced

HOUSTON – Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, the leading publication for all things football in Texas, and the Texas Bowl proudly announce the 25 semifinalists for the Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year Award.

Mr. Texas Football annually recognizes the most outstanding high school football player in the state of Texas. Each week, fans are given a chance to vote for the player of the week on TexasFootball.com. At the end of the high school football season, 10 finalists will be named. Fans can then cast their vote as to who should be named Mr. Texas Football. The winner of the 2020 Mr. Texas Football Award will be announced prior to the 2020 Texas Bowl, which will be played on December 31 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Frisco Lone Star and Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims took home the award in 2019. Former winners of the award include 2018 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray (2013 and 2014 winner, Allen), 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (2010 winner, Kerrville Tivy), former Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (2011 winner, Aledo), former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (2007 winner, Lamar Consolidated), current Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (2017 winner, Denton Ryan) and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert (2008 winner, Lake Travis).

The 2020 Bowl will once again feature a matchup between Big 12 and SEC opponents. The 2019 Texas Bowl, which was among the top-5 most-attended bowls in the country for the sixth consecutive year, featured the Texas A&M Aggies, representing the SEC, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys, representing the Big 12. The Aggies edged the Cowboys, 24-21, in a hard-hitting thriller. Overall, the Texas Bowl has ranked fifth in attendance since 2016, trailing only the Rose, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in that time.

For more information on the Mr. Texas Football Award, visit www.texasbowl.com or www.texasfootball.com .

2020 Mr. Texas Football Semifinalists 

ATH JoJo Earle, Aledo
QB Conner Weigman, Bridgeland
RB Cash Jones, Brock
QB Ryder Hernandez, Cedar Park
QB Andrew Body, Corpus Christi Miller
ATH JaTavion Sanders, Denton Ryan
QB Behren Morton, Eastland
QB Garrett Nussmeier, Flower Mound Marcus
QB Dematrius Davis, Galena Park North Shore
QB Dane Jentsch, Grandview
DT Ed Bobino, Huntsville
QB Cole Andrus, Jourdanton
QB Jalen Milroe, Katy Tompkins
QB Ace Whitehead, Lampasas
RB Jordan Jenkins, Lindale
QB Kolt Schuckers, Lindsay
QB Sawyer Robertson, Lubbock Coronado
ATH Roddrell Freeman, Mart
RB Steve Johnson, Port Lavaca Calhoun
RB De'shon Goodley, Rankin
QB Braedyn Locke, Rockwall
QB Eddie Lee Marburger, Sharyland Pioneer
QB Quinn Ewers, Southlake Carroll
LB Clayton Smith, Texarkana Texas High
RB Zach Hrbacek, Troy

 

About the Texas Bowl
The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since  2014. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the 5th most-attended bowl in the country since 2016. The bowl generates over $40 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated nearly $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

About Dave Campbell’s Texas Football
For more than 60 years, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has been “the bible” to millions of football fans across the Lone Star State. The annual summer edition of the magazine remains a rite of passage for all Texans, previewing every football team in the state — from the rabid world of Texas high school football, through the college ranks, and into the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Over the course of six decades, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football remains the undisputed leader in Texas high school football, Texas college football and more.

TexasFootball.com is the online home of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, covering high school football, college football and recruiting all across the Lone Star State. From thought-provoking commentary to videos to podcasts to its daily live show, nobody covers football in Texas like TexasFootball.com.

Press Release

15TH ANNUAL TEXAS BOWL SET FOR PRIME TIME DECEMBER 31 ON ESPN

HOUSTON – The 2020 Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. CT from NRG Stadium in Houston. The 15th edition of the game will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio, with a local radio broadcast on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM).  The 15th edition of the event will once again feature a matchup of Big 12 and SEC schools as it has since 2014. 

The Texas Bowl is the fifth most attended Bowl game in the country and most attended non-New Year’s Six game since 2016, trailing only the Rose, Peach, Fiesta and Orange Bowls.  The Texas Bowl and its sister event, the Texas Kickoff, have grown to become two of the most popular annual college football games in the country, combining to create an economic impact of close to $80 million annually for the city of Houston while raising nearly $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston’s oldest children’s charity and the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary. 

Last year, the Texas Bowl featured the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies, marking the sixth year of the Bowl’s affiliation with the Big 12 and the SEC. With an Aggies 24-21 victory over the Cowboys, Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond was named the 2019 Texas Bowl MVP. 

The Texas Bowl is one of 15 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment.  Ticket information for the event will be shared in the near future.  To be the first to get these updates and for more information around the game, fans can sign up for the Texas Bowl Wait List at http://www.thetexasbowl.com/

About the Texas Bowl 
The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Texas Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since 2014. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the fifth most-attended bowl in the country since 2016. The bowl generates nearly $40 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated nearly $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

-LONE STAR SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT-

 

Press Release

‘BOWL SEASON’ ANNOUNCED AS NEW NAME OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S POSTSEASON

Logo and visual identity developed for the annual “Celebration of College Football”

DALLAS, TEXAS (October 23, 2020) -- The Football Bowl Association is getting a new name and brand: Bowl Season. The debut of the name change, logo and website for the organization is part of a major brand overhaul announced today by Executive Director Nick Carparelli.

The new Bowl Season tagline, “A Celebration of College Football,” embraces the grand tradition of the bowl system and its enduring value to student-athletes. Highlighting the broader university community, including spirit squads, marching bands, student athletic staff and fans, Bowl Season will work with all existing bowls to promote the benefits of the entire bowl system.

Carparelli has collaborated over the last six months with leaders of the 44 bowl games, each of the 10 FBS conferences, media partners and other stakeholders to build consensus and solidify plans for the new brand.

“For four decades, the Football Bowl Association has served as a staunch advocate of the bowl system,” said Carparelli. “But until now, it’s been a behind-the-scenes organization designed to facilitate conversation among bowl leadership and stakeholders. Since joining the organization last spring, I’ve listened to our membership’s clear desire for a new identity-- to rebrand the FBA to speak directly to those who love this sport.”

“The stretch from mid-December through the first week of January marks one of the most endlessly entertaining times on the sports calendar,” Carparelli continues. “Footballs are flying morning, noon and night. It creates an opportunity to honor teams that have put in the work and provides an unforgettable victory lap for student-athletes. We’re excited to build up ‘Bowl Season’ as a true celebration of college football.”

The Bowl Season logo consists of a centrally-placed, collegiate-style football inside an overhead view of a stadium or bowl, from which the term “bowl game” was derived. The logo is also evocative of the top of championship rings, which are often awarded to teams that play in bowl games. The stadium contains 10 sections, each representing a conference member of the Football Bowl Subdivision: American Athletic Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Big 10, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, PAC 12, Southeastern Conference and Sun Belt Conference.

The new name and visual identity were developed by Connecticut-based 1919 Productions and Joe Bosack & Co. Tony Fay Public Relations, based in Dallas, was hired to oversee communications efforts for the organization.

“Our goal was to create a new brand that is distinctive, ownable and clearly defines what Bowl Season is,” said Marc Jacobson, Owner, 1919 Productions. “The new name and logo taps into the passion and emotion of college football, which we think will resonate well with all parties involved.”

More information can be found at www.bowlseason.com.

###

About Bowl Season
Bowl Season is the collective coalition of the 44 bowl games played in the traditional college football postseason. Dubbed “A Celebration of College Football,” Bowl Season promotes the grand tradition of the bowl system and its endearing value to student-athletes. It also highlights the broader university and college communities, including spirit squads, marching bands, athletic staff and fans. A nonprofit, Bowl Season spotlights the distinctiveness of each of the bowl games along with their histories and traditions, embracing and honoring the bowl experience for present and future generations.

Team Alert

CLAVES FORD DEL PARTIDO : TaxAct TEXAS BOWL 2021

KANSAS STATE OFENSIVA V. LSU DEFENSIVA

Kansas State Ofensiva

Ofensiva en Pase - 194.6 ypj (98th en la nacion)

Ofensiva en Acarreo - 160.7 ypj (70th)

Ofensiva Total - 355.3 ypj (100th)

Puntos Promedio en Ofenvisa - 26.3 ppj (82nd)

Jugadores Claves para Ver

RB #22 Deuce Vaughn - El Jugador Más Llamativo en Football Americano Colegial (CFB) en 2021

QB #7 Skylar Thompson - Lesionado durante el 2021, aparentemente se está posicionando en la direccion correcta para jugar.

OT #50 Cooper Beebe -Primer Equipo All-Big 12 de Línea Ofensiva en 2021, gran fisico con tecnica excelente y buen bloqueador en el juego terrestre.

LSU Defensa

Defensa en Pase - 234.9 ypj (75th en la nacion)

Defensa en Acarreo - 137.3 ypj (43rd)

Defensa Total - 372.2 ypj (60th)

Puntos Promedio en Defensa - 25.3 ppj (57th)

Jugadores Claves para Ver

DT #97 Glen Logan - Regresa despues de haberse perdidoo 6 juegos para crear impacto en el medio.

LB #23 Micah Baskerville - Debe de tomar el puesto de líder en la defensa ya que Damonte Clark optó por no jugar en el juego de tazon para enfocarse en el NFL Draft.

Edge #8 B.J. Ojulari - 6.0 sacks (Caputras de QB), tiene un potencial inmenso pero no ha producido sacks desde octubre.

Claves Ford del Partido

  1. Beebe v. Ojulari será un excelente duelo para analizar pero también un duelo clave dado el estatus de lesionado, del Mariscal de Campo, Thompson. Beebe ha lidiado con bastantes rushers muy fisicos en el Big 12, pero Ojulari tiene algo de movimiento y velocidad que puede ser dificil de parar.

  2. Vaughn será una gran espina en el costado de la defensa de LSU, dado el hecho que el tacleo es la unica cosa que no se trabaja mucho en las prácticas para los juegos de tazones o inclusive en otras ocasiones. Una vez más, es cuando Vaughn tiene la ventaja con espacios, todo el trabajo de tacleo en el mundo no ayuda a la defensa contraria.

  3. ¿Puede Kansas State pegar con jugadas explosivas a la defensa de LSU? Los Tigres son un poco más agresivos en defensa teniendo cambios para una formacion más 3-4, el cual parece haber resultado ya que los Tigres solo permitieron no más de 24 puntos en ninguno de los ultimos cuatro juegos. Con tan solo un par de semanas para prepararse, Crees que el Coordinador Ofensivo Interino, Collin Kein pueda hacer los ajustes necesarios en contra de la defensa renovada de LSU?

LSU OFENSIVA VS K-STATE DEFENSIVA

LSU Ofensvia

Ofensiva en Pase - 264.1 ypj (32nd en la nacion)

Ofensiva en Acarreo - 109.4 ypj (117th)

Ofensiva Total - 373.5 ypj (88th)

Puntos Promedio en Ofensiva - 27.1 ppj (78th)

Jugadores Claves para Ver

RB #21 Corey Kiner - Con el Corredor, Tyrion Davis-Price optando por no jugar el tazon, Kiner deberia tener la oportunidad en el juego terrestre.

WR #80 Jack Bech - True freshman terminó con 43 recepciones para 489 yardas y tres Touchdonws.

QB #5 Garrett Nussmeier - Buscará LSU utilizar al máximo su redshirt QB? El fue unico Mariscal de Campo becado en la lista despues de que Max Johnson decidiera transferirse y Myles Brennan decidiera regresar. Pero, Brennan probablemente no juege. Es un enigma por decir al menos, pero realmente espero ver a Nussmeier.

Kansas State Defensa

Defensa en Pase - 221.7 ypj (57th en la nacion)

Defensa en Acarreo - 126.3 ypj (29th)

Defense Total - 348.0 ypj (36th)

Puntos Promedio en Defensa - 21.1 ppj (26th)

Jugadores Claves para Ver

Edge #91 Felix Anudike-Uzomah - Primer Equipo All-Big 12 en 2021, 11.0 sacks (Capturas de QB)

LB #22 Daniel Green - Lidero en Tacleos con los Wildcats (83), y tuvo 14.0 TFL (Tacleos para pérdida de yardas)

S #2 Russ Yeast - Primer Equipo All-Big 12, Está por todos lados y hace muchas jugadas.

Claves Ford del Partido

  1. Kansas State #91 es un problema, un GRAN problema. Es implacable con mucho movimiento y poder. Su curva es indigante. Con un Mariscal de Campo sin experiencia, FA-U podria hacerse cargo del juego

  2. Si Nussmeier de hecho toma la delantera y comienza bien, ¿cómo lo protege el personal ofensivo de LSU sin sofocarlo? Contra Ole Miss, Nussmeier no parecía necesitar que lo tomaran de la mano. Puede lanzar en movimiento. Puede meter la pelota en espacios reducidos. Puede lanzar con tacto. LSU no puede retenerlo, pero tampoco pueden dejarlo colgando del viento.

  3. Kiner es un Vaughn más alto y corpulento. Por lo tanto, la defensa de Kansas State no se sorprenderá al ver un corredor nervioso y eléctrico de primer año de los Tigres. Dicho esto, el número 21 tiene acarreos y sacudidas absurdos en espacio.

Resumen y Prediccion
Este juego de tazon tiene muchas historias diferentes, comenzando con los mariscales de campo. Thompson parece que va a encontrar una manera de jugar en este juego y su presencia cambia las cosas para la ofensiva de los Wildcats. Mire, él no es Bryce Young, pero es experimentado, fuerte, y el hombre clave para esa ofensiva. Con Nussmeier en el otro lado, puedo realmente verlo tener algo de éxito al principio, pero el pass rushing de los Wildcats, liderado por FA-U, eventualmente presionará al joven lanzador de LSU que forzara un robo de balon clave que cambiara el juego. Vaughn v. Kiner será divertido de ver, pero Vaughn hará un par de jugadas claves, junto con una complementacion importante de Thompson al final del juego, que les dará a los Wildcats una victoria para finalizar la temporada 2021.

Kansas State - 21 vs. LSU - 17

Press Release

RODEO BOWL PRESENTED BY KROGER TO BE HELD ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

HOUSTON – The TaxAct Texas Bowl, in partnership with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, announce the Rodeo Bowl presented by Kroger will take place on January 1, 2022. Open to the public for the first time, the Rodeo Bowl is the first of multiple Texas-themed Bowl Week events and will feature student athletes from the Kansas State and LSU football teams participating in activities such as calf roping, goat dressing, hay bale stacking and calf penning at NRG Arena.

Prior to the Rodeo Bowl, fans will have access to the Rodeo Bowl Corral outside of NRG Arena, featuring rodeo-themed activities like face painting, a petting zoo, a live DJ and more. Following the event, ticketholders can attend a free live concert performed by Texas country music stars Kyle Park and Jon Stork on the Goode Company Stage.

Fans can purchase tickets to attend the Rodeo Bowl, with proceeds benefiting the DePelchin Children’s Center, for just $14.99, while children ages 12 and under will receive free admission. A limited number of VIP packages are available for purchase and will grant eligible package holders access to a mutton bustin’ competition, VIP seating for both the event and concert, complimentary food and beverages and other perks. Interested fans can find more information on the event and purchase tickets and VIP packages at TaxActTexasBowl.com/Rodeo-Bowl.

Schedule of Events:

3:30 PM: Rodeo Bowl Corral
LOCATION: Blue Lot outside of NRG Arena
FEATURES: Live DJ, petting zoo, face painting and more family-friendly entertainment

4:45 PM: NRG Arena doors open

5 PM: Rodeo Bowl Presented by Kroger
LOCATION: NRG Arena
FEATURES: Student athletes from the Kansas State and LSU football teams and eligible VIP ticket holders compete in rodeo-themed events

7 PM: Rodeo Bowl Presented by Kroger Concert
LOCATION: NRG Arena
FEATURES: Texas Country music stars Kyle Park and Jon Stork perform on the Goode Company Stage for all attendees

TaxAct Texas Bowl
The TaxAct Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The TaxAct Texas Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since 2014. The fifth most-attended bowl in the country since 2016, the TaxAct Texas Bowl generates nearly $40 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated over $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary. Tickets are now available for the TaxAct Texas Bowl at TaxActTexasBowl.com. 

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $500 million to the youth of Texas and education. The 2022 Rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 28 – March 20. The 2022 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest is scheduled for Feb. 24 – 26. For more information, visit RodeoHouston.com and connect with #RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.

Kroger
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

DePelchin Children’s Center
DePelchin Children’s Center was named as the TaxAct Texas Bowl’s official charitable beneficiary in 2006. Founded in 1892 by Kezia Payne DePelchin, DePelchin Children’s Center is an accredited foster care and adoption agency serving the most vulnerable children and families in Texas and working to break the cycles of abuse and neglect. DePelchin’s approach to caring for kids integrates at-risk prevention, foster care, adoption and post-adoption programs to improve the mental health and physical well-being of children who are at risk of entering or are in the State’s child welfare system. The TaxAct Texas Bowl has donated nearly $2 million in support of these efforts to date.

 

Press Release

Commentating Teams Announced for ESPN’s Expansive 41-Game Bowl Schedule, Including Exclusive Coverage of the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six

ESPN’s industry-leading coverage of the 2021 college football postseason will feature a 41-game bowl schedule, culminating with the exclusive presentation of the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T (8 p.m. ET) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Monday, Jan. 10.

The CFP begins on Friday, Dec. 31 with the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic featuring No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati (3:30 p.m. ET) from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, followed by the CFP Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl between No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Georgia (7:30 p.m.) from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Both CFP semifinals and the National Championship will air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, with alternate telecasts available across ESPN networks. ESPN Radio will also broadcast all three games. 

ESPN’s overall bowl slate commences Friday, Dec. 17, and completes the extensive 1,000+ game schedule carried across ESPN networks this year. Additional production details for both the College Football Playoff and the New Year’s Six will be announced in the coming days.

Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit Call Capital One Orange Bowl; Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge Announce Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
In the broadcasting booth, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call the Orange Bowl, while Sean McDonough and Todd Blackledge team up for the Cotton Bowl. Fowler, Herbstreit and Blackledge have called a CFP Semifinal all eight years of the system, with Fowler and Herbstreit working together in each of those years. McDonough is calling his fourth consecutive CFP Semifinal with Blackledge.

Veteran CFP Reporters Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge Join Semifinal Crews; Molly McGrath and Marty Smith Make CFP Semifinal TV Debuts
ESPN will utilize reporters Holly Rowe and Marty Smith at the Orange Bowl, Rowe’s eighth CFP Semifinal on either TV or radio and Smith’s first CFP Semifinal. At the Cotton Bowl, Molly McGrath and Laura Rutledge will report, McGrath’s first TV appearance in the CFP Semifinals and Rutledge’s fourth.

New Year’s Six Sees New Faces on Commentating Teams
ESPN’s presentation of the New Year’s Six will begin with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between No. 10 Michigan State and No. 12 Pittsburgh. Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III and Quint Kessenich will be on the call for the matchup on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl kicks off New Year’s Six action on New Year’s Day, featuring No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 9 Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. on ESPN, with Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Kris Budden on the call. At 5 p.m., the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One Venture X begins with Fowler, Herbstreit, Rowe and Tiffany Blackmon providing commentary. At 8:45 p.m., No. 7 Baylor takes on No. 8 Ole Miss in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, with Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy and Katie George calling the action from the Big Easy.

ESPN Radio Covers the CFP Semifinals
Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones and Ian Fitzsimmons will announce the Cotton Bowl from Arlington, teaming up for another CFP Semifinal. In Miami, Jones, Griffin III and Kessenich will call the Capital One Orange Bowl for ESPN Radio. Anchoring the pre/half/post coverage from the Bristol studios will be Kevin Winter and Kirk Morrison. ESPN Radio will broadcast all New Year’s Six games, with all assignments included below.

ESPN Events Begins the Bowling
ESPN Events announced the matchups for its 18 owned and operated college football bowl games for the 2021-22 Bowl Season. The Bahamas Bowl (noon, ESPN) and Tailgreeter Cure Bowl (6 p.m., ESPN2) kick off the schedule on Friday, Dec. 17. Sixteen of the ESPN Events bowl games will air on ESPN while the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl will air on ESPN2, and the Cricket Celebration Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18 will air on ABC at noon. The schedule also includes the addition of the inaugural Wasabi Fenway Bowl in Boston on Wednesday, Dec. 29 (11 a.m., ESPN) and the new Frisco Football Classic, which will be played Thursday, Dec. 23 (3:30 p.m., ESPN) in Frisco, Texas. Full details.

Additional Postseason Highlights:

  • Seeing Red in Pasadena: The Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One Venture X on Saturday, Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. will feature No. 11 Utah vs. No. 6 Ohio State, the alma maters of Kirk Herbstreit and Holly Rowe, both of whom will be on the call of the famed ‘granddaddy of them all.’
  • Inaugural Kimmel Bowl Kicks Off: The first ever Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Presented by Stifel is set for ABC on Saturday, Dec. 18. Tessitore will be joined by ESPN college football studio analyst and newly-minted Bachelor host Jesse Palmer and Rutledge on the TV call.
  • Marty & McGee Back to Myrtle: Marty Smith and Ryan McGee will join forces once again as sideline reporters on the Myrtle Beach Bowl Presented by TaxAct, set for Monday, Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Bahamas Bowl Gets New Crew: Kevin Negandhi, Booger McFarland and Katie George will team up to announce the Bahamas Bowl, kicking off the 2021-22 Bowl Season schedule. 
  • Boston Bound: Fellow New England natives Dave O’Brien – a longtime Red Sox voice – and Tim Hasselbeck will call the inaugural Wasabi Fenway Bowl at the famed Boston ballpark, joined by Kelsey Riggs
  • Dugout Debut: Making his first game analyst appearance on ESPN, Sam Acho will provide commentary for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 29 (2:15 p.m.) from Yankee Stadium
  • Back to the ATL: Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III, Jay Walker, Quint Kessenich and Tiffany Greene will call the Cricket Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 18 at noon on ABC. The same five-some kicked off the season there in Week 0 calling the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge.
  • Queen City Commentator: The Duke’s Mayo Bowl will have a familiar voice on play-by-play, as Charlotte resident Anish Shroff calls the Battle of the Carolinas (North Carolina vs. South Carolina) on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Home of the Raiders: Beth Mowins, who calls Raiders preseason NFL games, and Kirk Morrison, a former player for the Silver & Black, will feel right at home Thursday, Dec. 30 on the call of the first SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl at the Raiders’ new home, Allegiant Stadium.
  • Return to the 904: Sideline reporter Alyssa Lang will have a homecoming in Jacksonville, Fla., where she worked for two years before her start at ESPN and SEC Network, to call the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Friday, Dec. 31, 11 a.m.)
  • Multiplatform: ESPN Radio will broadcast 20 games; ESPN Deportes to televise 17 games

2021-22 College Football Bowl Schedule on ESPN Networks

 

Date

Time (ET)

Bowl

Network

Fri, Dec 17

Noon

Bahamas Bowl *
Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium
(Nassau, Bahamas)
Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
Kevin Negandhi, Booger McFarland, Katie George

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

 

6 p.m.

Tailgreeter Cure Bowl *
Exploria Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
Northern Illinois vs. Coastal Carolina
Mike Morgan, Kirk Morrison, Dawn Davenport

ESPN2

Sat, Dec 18

11 a.m.

RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl *
FAU Stadium (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State
TV: Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Tiffany Blackmon
Radio: Chris Carlin, EJ Manuel, Taylor Davis

ESPN/ESPN Radio

 

Noon

Cricket Celebration Bowl *
Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
South Carolina State vs. Jackson State
Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III, Jay Walker, Quint Kessenich, Tiffany Greene

ABC

 

2:15 p.m.

PUBG Mobile New Mexico Bowl *
University Stadium (Albuquerque, N.M.)
UTEP vs. Fresno State
TV: John Schriffen, Rene Ingoglia, Stormy Buonantony
Radio: Mike Corey, Hutson Matson

ESPN/ESPN Radio

 

3:30 p.m.

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl
Independence Stadium (Shreveport, La.)
UAB vs. No. 13 BYU
Roy Philpott, Cole Cubelic, Paul Carcaterra

ABC/ESPN Deportes

 

5:45 p.m.

LendingTree Bowl
Hancock Whitney Stadium (Mobile, Ala.)
Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty
Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Jalyn Johnson

ESPN

 

7:30 p.m.

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Presented by Stifel
SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, Calif.)
Utah State vs. Oregon State
TV: Joe Tessitore, Jesse Palmer, Laura Rutledge
Radio: Jorge Sedano, Tom Ramsey, Kelsey Riggs

ABC/ESPN Radio/ESPN Deportes

 

9:15 p.m.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Caesars Superdome (New Orleans, La.)
No. 23 Louisiana vs. Marshall
TV: Anish Shroff, Mike Golic Jr., Taylor McGregor
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones

ESPN/ESPN Radio

Mon, Dec 20

2:30 p.m.

Myrtle Beach Bowl Presented by TaxAct *
Brooks Stadium (Conway, S.C.)
Old Dominion vs. Tulsa
Kevin Brown, Hutson Mason, Marty Smith, Ryan McGee

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Tue, Dec 21

3:30 p.m.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl *
Albertsons Stadium (Boise, Idaho)
Kent State vs. Wyoming
TV: Bill Roth, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren Sisler
Radio: Kevin Winter, Trevor Matich

ESPN/ESPN Radio/ESPN Deportes

 

7:30 p.m.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl *
Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
UTSA vs. No. 24 San Diego State
Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Tiffany Blackmon

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Wed, Dec 22

8 p.m.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl *
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Ft. Worth, Texas)
Missouri vs. Army
Tiffany Greene, Jay Walker, Kris Budden

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thu, Dec 23

3:30 p.m.

Frisco Football Classic *
Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
North Texas vs. Miami (Ohio)
Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Tiffany Blackmon

ESPN

 

7 p.m.

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl *
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)
UCF vs. Florida
Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, Taylor Davis

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Fri, Dec 24

8 p.m.

EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl *
Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Memphis vs. Hawai’i
TV: Jason Benetti, Andre Ware, Paul Carcaterra
Radio: Kevin Winter, Trevor Matich

ESPN/ESPN Radio/ESPN Deportes

Sat, Dec 25

2:30 p.m.

TaxAct Camellia Bowl *
Cramton Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.)
Georgia State vs. Ball State
Roy Philpott, Hutson Mason, Abby Labar

ESPN

Mon, Dec 27

11 a.m.

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field (Detroit, Mich.)
Western Michigan vs. Nevada
Mike Couzens, Dustin Fox, Taylor McGregor

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

 

2:30 p.m.

Military Bowl Presented by Peraton
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Md.)
Boston College vs. East Carolina
Brian Custer, Kelly Stouffer, Quint Kessenich

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Tue, Dec 28

Noon

TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl *
Protective Stadium (Birmingham, Ala.)
No. 20 Houston vs. Auburn
Wes Durham, Eric Mac Lain, Taylor Davis

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

 

3:15 p.m.

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl *
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (Dallas, Texas)
Air Force vs. Louisville
Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Jalyn Johnson

ESPN/ESPN Deportes

 

6:45 p.m.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (Memphis, Tenn.)
Mississippi State vs. Texas Tech
TV: Dave Neal, Deuce McAllister, Andraya Carter
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones, Ian Fitzsimmons

ESPN/ESPN Radio

 

10:15 p.m.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Chase Field (Phoenix, Ariz.)
West Virginia vs. Minnesota
TV: Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore, Stormy Buonantony
Radio: Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison, Dawn Davenport

ESPN/ESPN Radio

Wed, Dec 29

11 a.m.

Wasabi Fenway Bowl *
Fenway Park (Boston, Mass.)
SMU vs. Virginia
Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Kelsey Riggs

ESPN

 

2:15 p.m.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium (Bronx, N.Y.)
Maryland vs. Virginia Tech
TV: Matt Barrie, Roddy Jones, Sam Acho
Radio: Chris Carlin, Jack Ford, Abby Labar

ESPN/ESPN Radio

 

5:45 p.m.

Cheez-It Bowl
Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
No. 19 Clemson vs. Iowa State
TV: Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Ben Hartsock, Kris Budden

ESPN/ESPN Radio

 

9:15 p.m.

Valero Alamo Bowl
The Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas)
No. 14 Oregon vs. No. 16 Oklahoma
TV: Jason Benetti, Andre Ware, Paul Carcaterra
Radio: Jorge Sedano, Max Starks, Alex Chappell

ESPN/ESPN Radio

Thu, Dec 30

11:30 a.m.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)
North Carolina vs. South Carolina
Anish Shroff, Mike Golic Jr., Taylor McGregor

ESPN

 

3 p.m.

TransPerfect Music City Bowl
Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)
Tennessee vs. Purdue
TV: Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
Radio: Dave Neal, Deuce McAllister, Jalyn Johnson

ESPN/ESPN Radio

 

7 p.m. 

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 
Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.) 
No. 12 Pittsburgh vs. No. 10 Michigan State
TV: Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III, Quint Kessenich
Radio: Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren Sisler

ESPN/ESPN Radio/ESPN Deportes

 

Team Alert

Toyota Keys to the Mercari Texas Bowl: Arkansas Razorbacks

John Harris
Houston Texans Analyst & College Football Expert
Football with Friends Podcast

 

Once it appeared as if college football would occur in 2020, many looked at the diabolical schedule in front of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Those same people thought 1st year coach Sam Pittman would be lucky to win a game, much less survive the season. Yet, the Hogs were seven points (and a couple of bad officiating calls) away from finishing 6-4 in Pittman’s first season. Now, Pittman’s Hogs and the fan base weren’t doing cartwheels over how the season ended with four straight losses, but, again, Arkansas let wins over LSU and Missouri slip through their hands in the final minutes of each game.

The truth about 2020 is that Arkansas showed that the future would be brighter than it’s been in quite some time in Fayetteville. Wide receiver Treylon Burks is quite possibly the best receiver in the nation not named DeVonta Smith. He was named a 2nd Team All-SEC receiver as a true sophomore and will return in 2021. Junior running back Trelon Smith is a dangerous ball carrier, especially in a bowl game when teams haven’t tackled anyone in a couple of weeks. Quite frankly, this is a talented squad that gets one final opportunity to build toward, hopefully, a more normal 2021 in Razorback Land.

Let’s take a look at Arkansas’ Keys to the Game against TCU.

2020 Schedule (3-7)
L, Georgia 37-10
W, @ Mississippi State 21-14
L, @ Auburn 30-28
W, Ole Miss 33-21
L, @ Texas A&M 42-31
W, Tennessee 24-13
L, @ Florida 63-35
L, LSU 27-24
L, @ Missouri 50-48
L, Alabama 52-3

Arkansas OFFENSE (in 2020 regular season)

  • Rushing Yards Per game - 151.3 ypg (8th in the SEC)
  • Passing Yards Per game - 240.2 ypg (7th)
  • Total offense per game - 391.5 ypg (8th)
  • Turnovers lost - 13 (6 INT, 7 Fumbles lost)

 

Projected Arkansas starting offense for the Mercari Texas Bowl
QB - Feleipe Franks (2,107 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown)
RB - Trelon Smith (134 attempts, 710 yards, five touchdowns)
WR - Trey Knox (seven receptions, 70 yards)
WR - Treylon Burks (2nd Team All-SEC - 51 receptions, 820 yards, seven touchdowns)
WR - Mike Woods (32 receptions, 619 yards, five touchdowns)
TE - Blake Kern
LT - Myron Cunningham
LG - Brady Latham (Freshman All-SEC)
C - Ty Clary/Ricky Stromberg (missed finale with concussion)
RG - Beaux Limmer/Ty Clary
RT - Dalton Wagner

Other Key Offensive pieces
TE - Hudson Henry (Freshman All-SEC - missed last 2 games - 16 rec, 92 yards, one TD)
WR - Tyson Morris (seven receptions, 67 yards, one touchdown)
QB - K.J. Jefferson (one start v. Missouri - 18 of 33, 274 yards, three touchdowns, 32 yards rushing, one rushing touchdown)
RB - T.J. Hammonds (14 attempts, 101 yards)

Keys to winning for the Razorbacks offense

  1. Hoping TCU gets lost in the Woods - Everyone by now knows the greatness that is Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks. He’s going to be a first rounder in the NFL Draft whenever he’s eligible. Because Burks casts such a huge shadow, for good reason mind you, fellow receiver Mike Woods often gets lost in the shuffle. If TCU doesn’t respect the game breaking ability of Woods, he can make that Horned Frog defense pay. Woods averages, AVERAGES, a whopping 19.3 yards per catch. He’s strong and has the size to be a problem for the TCU defensive backs in any area on the field. He can make it happen after the catch, turning into a high quality running back once he has the ball in his hands. Not surprisingly, he just doesn’t get the attention and that’s a real shame.

  2. Returning home - The top two Razorback running backs during 2020 were Houston products so a homecoming was due to happen in the Mercari Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. However, a few weeks back, Stratford High School product Rakeem Boyd opted out of the remainder of the 2020 season. That left powderkeg Trelon Smith, a Cypress Ridge High School product, to take over as the top Hog ball carrier. Smith is tough on opposing defenses due to his diminutive stature (5-9, 185), but his short area quickness and explosive burst are tough on defensive fronts, especially when those fronts haven’t been on the field in a few weeks. The TCU front isn’t heavy, but it’s light on its feet and seemingly the right type of front to slow Smith. However, I wouldn’t count on it being easy, given Smith’s ability to make anyone miss anywhere on the field.

  3. Frankly, it’s Franks - It’ll be the last college game in the long career of Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks. He has truly preserved through injury, a transfer and being banged up throughout the last half of 2020. TCU has some edge speed, in particular Ochaun Mathis, that can make life tough on Franks in the play action/dropback games. If the Hogs stay out of 2nd and long/3rd and long, though, Franks should be able to get time to find Burks/Woods/Blake Kern all over the field.

Arkansas DEFENSE (in 2020 regular season)

  • Rushing Yards Allowed Per game - 192.1 ypg (12th in the SEC)
  • Passing Yards Allowed Per game - 259.6 ypg (10th)
  • Total offense Allowed per game - 451.7 ypg (11th)
  • Turnovers generated - 18 (13 INT, 5 Fumble recoveries - Arkansas is +5 in TO margin)

Projected Arkansas starting defense for the Mercari Texas Bowl
DE - Eric Gregory (27 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks)
DT - Isaiah Nichols (24 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks)
DT - Jonathan Marshall (6.5 TFL - tied for second on the team in 2020)
Jack - Dorian Gerald/Zach Williams (3.0 sacks combined)
WLB - Bumper Pool (2nd Team All-SEC - 101 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 0.5 sack)
MLB - Grant Morgan (1st Team All-SEC - 111 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks, one pick six)
CB - Montaric Brown (31 tackles, one INT, six PBU)
S - Jalen Catalon (2nd Team All-SEC - 99 tackles, 2.0 TFL, three INT, four PBU, two FF)
S - Joe Foucha (60 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, two INT)
Nickel - Greg Brooks Jr. (missed most of last game v. Alabama)/LaDarrius Bishop
CB - Nick Turner (true freshman - started last game v. Alabama - seven tackles)

Other Key Defensive pieces
LB - Hayden Henry (will miss first half due to targeting in last game v. Alabama in 2nd half)
CB - Hudson Clark (47 tackles, 1.0 TFL, three INT)
DT - Julius Coates (18 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks - missed Alabama game)
DB - Myles Mason (22 tackles, 0.5 TFL - started last two games of season)

Keys to winning for the Razorbacks defense

  1. JC #1 - I unabashedly love defensive back Jalen Catalon. If Tyrann Mathieu is the Honey Badger, Catalon is the Son of the Honey Badger. The redshirt freshman ATTACKS the ball at all times and does the same to anyone in a different colored jersey. He’s just 5-10 and 189 lb. but he plays like he’s the second coming of a Sean Taylor/Mathieu/Eric Berry safety mashup. He was named a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist and will eventually be named a Freshman All-American. There’s little question that he’s needed against TCU’s top rated running game. He more than likely will play near the box for much of the game to help slow fellow freshman TCU running back Zach Evans and quarterback Max Duggan.

  2. Bumper Morgan - I’m sure at some point during this season, I called either Grant Morgan or Bumper Pool, Bumper Morgan because the two Razorback linebackers play nearly the same type of game. The only way to tell them apart is the numbers - Morgan is 31 and Pool is 10. Neither one weighs more than 220 lb., regardless of what the roster might read, but the two have insane first step quickness, combined with anticipation of what the offense is planning to do. TCU’s run game is the best in the Big 12 and Arkansas’ run defense was in the bottom three of the SEC. As such, these two need some help from the big fellas up front to allow them to attack the line of scrimmage to keep Evans, Duggan and the TCU ball carriers from getting to open space in a hurry.

  3. Scars - In the final two games of the season, the Arkansas defense was shredded by Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak and Alabama Heisman Trophy contender Mac Jones. It precipitated a number of different changes in the Hogs secondary. If those two games left scars in the back end, TCU quarterback Max Duggan is going to successfully dial up some deep shots to receiver Quentin Johnston and company against man coverage. But, if the Hogs front can handle the run game on early downs to keep the Hogs out of disadvantageous coverages on 2nd and/or 3rd down, it’ll help that secondary immensely.
Team Alert

Toyota Keys to the Mercari Texas Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs

John Harris
Houston Texans Analyst & College Football Expert
Football with Friends Podcast

The TCU Horned Frogs were a bit of a mystery heading into the 2020 season. They had a handful of star players at key positions - Max Duggan at quarterback (although he wasn’t healthy to start the year), Trevon Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington and First Team All-Big 12 linebacker Garret Wallow. However, the Horned Frogs needed to rely on some incoming youth on offense and speed and athleticism on the defensive side of the ball.

By November/December, it all really came together in a win over Oklahoma State that assured Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs a winning season if they could beat Louisiana Tech in the finale. The 52-10 whitewash of the Bulldogs capped a three game winning streak and a closing stretch in which TCU won five of its last six. 

TCU is coming to Houston with a ton of confidence. Lat’s take a look at TCU’s Keys to the Game against Arkansas.

2020 Schedule (6-4)
L, Iowa State 37-34
W, @ Texas 33-31
L, Kansas State 21-14
L, Oklahoma 33-14
W, @ Baylor 33-23
W, Texas Tech 34-18
L, @ West Virginia 24-6
W, @ Kansas 59-23
W, Oklahoma State 29-22
W, La. Tech 52-10

TCU OFFENSE (in 2020 regular season)

  • Rushing Yards Per game - 214.7 ypg (1st in the Big 12)
  • Passing Yards Per game - 196.3 ypg (8th)
  • Total offense per game - 411.0 ypg (7th)
  • Turnovers lost - 14 (5 INT, 9 Fumbles lost)

Projected TCU starting offense for the Mercari Texas Bowl
QB - Max Duggan (led the Horned Frogs in passing and rushing in 2020)
RB - Zach Evans (54 rush attempts, 415 yards, four touchdowns)
RB - Darwin Barlow (73 rush attempts, 428 yards, four touchdowns)
WR - Quentin Johnston (22 receptions, 487 yards, two touchdowns)
WR - Taye Barber (31 receptions, 318 yards, two touchdowns)
TE - Carter Ware/Pro Wells (13 receptions, 195 yards, three touchdowns)
LT - T.J. Storment
LG - John Lanz
C - Coy McMillan
RG - Blake Hickey
RT - Esteban Avila

Other Key Offensive pieces
WR - Derius Davis (15 receptions, 209 yards, one touchdown)
WR - Blair Conwright (17 receptions, 207 yards, one touchdown)
WR - Mikel Barkley (seven receptions, 33 yards)
RB - Emari Demercado (46 rush attempts, 199 yards)
RB - Kendre Miller (54 rush attempts, 388 yards, two touchdowns)

Keys to winning for the Horned Frog offense

  1. Chip on their shoulders - Playing in a bowl game can be seen as a reward for some or drudgery by others. TCU is playing its best football of the year at the end of the season and that could bode very well heading into a matchup with a SEC team. Furthermore, for this offense, not one Horned Frog was named to the 1st or 2nd All-Big 12 Team at season’s end. It’s not the most dynamic offense in the world, but the run game produced well over 200 yards per game on the ground. As such, if this offensive unit brings that NRG Stadium-sized chip on its shoulders to NRG Stadium, it’s going to be a motivated offensive unit to say the least.

  2. Handle 42 - One of the more unsung players in the nation is Arkansas defensive tackle #42 Jonathan Mitchell. TCU does a number of different things in the run game so it doesn’t have to be a full-on, bare knuckled brawl against Marshall all game long. But, there will be times when the Horned Frog interior must move him off the ball to keep the run game moving smoothly. If Marshall stonewalls the TCU interior, Arkansas linebackers Grant Morgan (1st team All-SEC) and Bumper Pool (2nd team All-SEC) will run to the football unabated all night long. That can’t happen if TCU plans on rushing near its season average of 214 yards per game.

  3. Deep to Q - Both teams have dynamic, BIG downfield threats and, for the Horned Frogs, it’s freshman Quentin Johnston. Against La. Tech, TCU quarterback Max Duggan hauled off and threw it as far as he could on a go route to Johnston. The freshman star was interfered with during the play, fought it off, kept his eyes on the throw and made a sterling catch which turned into a touchdown to give TCU a 17-0 lead. Arkansas defensive backs have been up and down in coverage all year and they’re going to struggle with Johnston’s size and length. That’s something TCU’s offensive coaching staff and Duggan must exploit in the passing game.

TCU DEFENSE (in 2020 regular season)

  • Rushing Yards Allowed Per game - 127.5 ypg (4th in the Big 12)
  • Passing Yards Allowed Per game - 223.4 ypg (5th)
  • Total offense Allowed per game - 350.9 ypg (4th)
  • Turnovers generated - 12 (8 INT, 4 Fumble recoveries - TCU is -2 in TO margin)

Projected TCU starting defense for the Mercari Texas Bowl
DE - Ochaun Mathis (2nd Team All-Big 12)
DT - Terrell Cooper
DT - George Ellis
DE - Khari Coleman (Co-Freshman Defensive Player of the Year)
MLB - Dee Winters
SLB - Garret Wallow (1st Team All-Big 12)
CB - C.J. Ceasar
S - La’Kendrick Van Zandt 
S - Ar’Darius Washington
S - Trevon Moehrig (1st Team All-Big 12)
CB - Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (1st Team All-Big 12)

Other Key Defensive pieces
CB - Kee’yon Stewart
S - Nook Bradford

Keys to winning for the Horned Frogs defense

  1. THT - The TCU Horned Frog defense has faced its share of great receivers in 2020, but TCU star cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, in particular, will need to be at his best when facing Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks. This is the type of matchup that a star like Hodges-Tomlinson, the nephew of TCU great LaDainian Tomlinson, desires. The TCU star cornerback is a glue factory, in the mold of former TCU All-American defensive back Jason Verrett, sticking to receivers of all shapes, sizes and speeds. Hodges-Tomlinson is only 5-9, 177 lb., but he’s quick and tough at the catch point. Regardless of Burks’ size (6-3, 232), THT will be TNT all night long against one of the most physically gifted receivers in the nation.

  2. Run, Forrest, Run - One of my favorite movies is Forrest Gump and one of Gump’s greatest assets was the ability to run for days and his speed. The TCU linebackers are like Gump in that they can run all day long, led by Garret Wallow - 2x 1st team All-Big 12 honoree. The way that Wallow and Dee Winters can fly to the ball makes things tough for any running game because they can run behind zone blocks or they can run to a point on the frontside and make tackles before blocks can develop. They don’t allow interior blockers to get hats on them because of their speed. That can disrupt the Arkansas run game for sure.

  3. O - The O stands for Ochaun Mathis, 2nd Team All-Big 12 defensive end. Mathis finished a half a sack away from being tied for the conference lead in sacks. He had 9.0 on the season and it seems as though he’s just scratching the surface of his prodigious talent. He’s long and extremely difficult to get hands on, in either the run and pass game, so he’ll certainly be a focus of the Arkansas run game/pass protection in this matchup.
Press Release

2020 Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year Preseason Watch List

HOUSTON – Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, the leading publication for all things football in Texas, and the Texas Bowl proudly announce the 100-player Watch List for the Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year Award. The voters, when appropriate, will add players to the watch list.

Mr. Texas Football annually recognizes the most outstanding high school football player in the state of Texas. Each week, fans are given a chance to vote for the player of the week on TexasFootball.com. At the end of the high school football season, 10 finalists will be named. Fans can then cast their vote as to who should be named Mr. Texas Football. The winner of the 2020 Mr. Texas Football Award will be announced prior to the 2020 Texas Bowl, which will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston. 

Current players of this year’s watch list include:

Galena Park North Shore QB Dematrius Davis

Lakeview Centennial RB Camar Wheaton

Aledo WR JoJo Earle

Fort Worth All Saints OL Tommy Brockermeyer

Pleasant Grove DL Landon Jackson

Grandview QB Dane Jentsch

Motley County RB Jake Richards

Mart ATH Roddrell Freeman

El Paso Americas RB Aaron Dumas

Sharyland Pioneer QB Eddie Lee Marburger

Lampasas QB Ace Whitehead

Former winners of the award include 2018 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray (2013 and 2014 winner, Allen), 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (2010 winner, Kerrville Tivy), former Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (2011 winner, Aledo), former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (2007 winner, Lamar Consolidated), current Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (2017 winner, Denton Ryan) and Carolina Panthers quarterback Garrett Gilbert (2008 winner, Lake Travis). Frisco Lone Star and Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims took home the award in 2019.

The 2020 Bowl will once again feature a matchup between Big 12 and SEC opponents. The 2019 Texas Bowl, which was among the top-5 most-attended bowls in the country for the sixth consecutive year, featured the Texas A&M Aggies, representing the SEC, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys, representing the Big 12. The Aggies edged the Cowboys, 24-21, in a hard-hitting thriller. Overall, the Texas Bowl has ranked fifth in attendance since 2016, trailing only the Rose, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in that time.

For more information on the Mr. Texas Football Award, visit www.thetexasbowl.com or www.texasfootball.com.

About the Texas Bowl

The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl has showcased teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences since 2014. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 14 years as it is the 5th most-attended bowl in the country since 2016. The bowl generates over $40 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated more than $1,200,000 in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

About Dave Campbell’s Texas Football

For more than 60 years, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has been “the bible” to millions of football fans across the Lone Star State. The annual summer edition of the magazine remains a rite of passage for all Texans, previewing every football team in the state — from the rabid world of Texas high school football, through the college ranks, and into the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Over the course of six decades, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football remains the undisputed leader in Texas high school football, Texas college football and more.

TexasFootball.com is the online home of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, covering high school football, college football and recruiting all across the Lone Star State. From thought-provoking commentary to videos to podcasts to its daily live show, nobody covers football in Texas like TexasFootball.com.

 

2020 Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year

Preseason Watch List

DL David Abiara, Mansfield Legacy

WR Shadrach Banks, Galena Park North Shore

RB Kevorian Barnes, San Augustine

DB CJ Baskerville, Richland

RB Brian Benavides, Laredo United South

LB Kendrick Blackshire, Duncanville

ATH Billy Bowman, Denton Ryan

OL Tommy Brockermeyer, Fort Worth All Saints

OL James Brockermeyer, Fort Worth All Saints

RB Doug Brooks, Shiner

QB Kyle Brown, Cedar Park Vista Ridge

ATH Landon Burkhart, Richland Springs

DL Ethan Byerly, Hamlin

OL Savion Byrd, Duncanville

RB Lane Carrasco, Balmorhea

DB Cicero Caston, Weatherford

ATH Koby Clinkscales, Blum

DB JD Coffey, Kennedale

OL Hayden Conner, Katy Taylor

LB Terrance Cooks II, Alvin Shadow Creek

RB Trey Cross, Midland Greenwood

ATH Dametrious  Crownover, Grandview

ATH Juan Davis, Everman

QB Dematrius Davis, Galena Park North Shore

WR Quaydarius Davis, Dallas Skyline

QB Jay'lon Dobbins, Lubbock Estacado

QB Kyron Drones, Alvin Shadow Creek

RB Aaron Dumas, El Paso Americas

WR JoJo Earle, Aledo

OL Rueben Fatheree, Richmond Foster

OL Bryce Foster, Katy Taylor

ATH Roddrell Freeman, Mart

RB Noah Garcia, Abilne Cooper

WR Dylan Goffney, Bridgeland

WR Bryson Green, Allen

WR Antwaan Gross, Refugio

DB Deuce Harmon, Denton Guyer

LB Derrick Harris Jr., New Caney

QB Kai Horton, Carthage

RB Zach Hrbacek, Troy

DB Ishmael Ibraheem, Dallas Kimballl

DL Braylen Jackson, Mansfield Lake Ridge

DL Landon Jackson, Pleasant Grove

OL Donovan Jackson, Bellaire Episcopal

WR Cody Jackson, Richmond Foster

WR Ketron Jackson, Royse City

RB Jordan Jenkins, Lindale

QB Dane Jentsch, Grandview

RB LJ Johnson, Cy-Fair

RB Steve Johnson, Port Lavaca Calhoun

RB Chris Johnston, Flatonia

RB Cash Jones, Brock

ATH Jordan Kelley, Refugio

TE Landen King, Humble Atascocita

WR Cole Kirkpatrick, Argyle

RB Jacob Lee, Azle

DB Devin Lemear, Manor

ATH De'Anthony Lewis, Converse Judson

TE Jasper Lott, Argyle

ATH Chase Lowery, Frisco

WR Titus Lyons, Pottsboro

QB Eddie Lee Marburger, Sharyland Pioneer

WR Christian Marshalll, Wimberley

QB Will Maynard, Amarillo

RB Alton McCaskill II, Conroe Oak Ridge

DB Latrel McCutchin, Austin LBJ

RB Kaden Meredith, Longview

QB Jalen Milroe, Katy Tompkins

QB Behren Morton, Eastland

DB Andrew Mukuba, Austin LBJ

DL Chris Murray, Wichita Falls Hirschi

WR Latrell Neville, Fort Bend Hightower

QB Garrett Nussemeier, Flower Mound Marcus

RB Rueben Owens, El Campo

ATH Joseph Perez, Bruni

QB Braden Plyler, Pottsboro

QB Garret Rangel, Frisco Lone Star

DB Ara Rauls III, Waco La Vega

DB Lyrik Rawls, Marshall

RB Jake Richards, Motley County

QB Sawyer Robertson, Lubbock Coronado

QB Kaidon Salter, Cedar Hill

ATH Ja'Tavion Sanders, Denton Ryan

QB Kolt Schuckers, Lindsay

QB Carter Senterfitt, Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial

LB Clayton Smith, Texas High

WR Za'Korien Spikes, Cameron Yoe

QB Preston Stone, Dallas Parish Episcoapl

QB Eli Stowers, Denton Guyer

WR J.Michael Sturdivant, Flower Mound Marcus

DL Jordon Thomas, Port Arthur Memorial

DL Shemar Turner, DeSoto

ATH Hunter Warminski, White Deer

DB Hunter Washington, Katy

DL Landyn Watson, Hutto

RB Camar Wheaton, Lakeview Centennial

QB Ace Whitehead, Lampasas

ATH Jack Wilkerson, Spearman

DL Jarveon Williams, Ennis

DB Jimmy Wyrick, South Oak Cliff