Texas Tech to face Mississippi State and Mike Leach in Liberty Bowl


Texas Tech has formally accepted its 39th bowl invitation in school history as the Red Raiders will face Mississippi State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28 in Memphis, Tennessee. Kickoff from historic Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium is slated for 5:45 p.m. CT with television coverage provided nationally on ESPN.

"Texas Tech is honored to accept an invitation to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "We are excited for our first trip to the great city of Memphis and to showcase this football program in one of the nation's most storied bowl games. The Red Raider Nation looks forward to this tremendous experience."  
 
This will be the first-ever appearance in the Liberty Bowl for the Red Raiders, who are returning to postseason play for the first time since 2017. It will be the 39th all-time bowl appearance in school history, which places Tech in a tie for 21st nationally among FBS programs and tied for third among Big 12 programs.
 
"We are excited for the opportunity to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl," interim head coach Sonny Cumbie said. "Our goal the past several weeks was to get this program back to where it belonged – a bowl game. I know everyone in this program agrees that we are excited for the challenge against a talented Mississippi State team."

The matchup against Mississippi State will place Cumbie against his former head coach in Mike Leach, who amassed 84 wins during his 10 seasons leading the Red Raiders from 2000-09. Leach is currently in his second season at Mississippi State as the Bulldogs wrapped the regular season at 7-5 overall and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play.

The Red Raiders will head to the Liberty Bowl at 6-6 overall after defeating Iowa State on Nov. 13 to reach bowl eligibility. Cumbie, who was named the next head coach at Louisiana Tech this past week, will return to his alma mater starting Dec. 13 to lead the Red Raiders through bowl preparations.

"We're excited to host the Texas Tech Red Raiders and their great fans for the first time in our 63-year history," said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. "The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is college football's seventh-oldest bowl game, with a great history, legacy and tradition that will now include Texas Tech. We look forward to welcoming the Red Raiders for a great match-up against Mississippi State for what will be one of the country's most exciting and compelling games."

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