LUBBOCK, Texas – The 2022 season will come to a close on Wednesday, Dec. 28 when Texas Tech meets Ole Miss at the TaxAct Texas Bowl in Houston. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. between two programs that have met six times before, most recently in 2018 at the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, which was in the same venue that will host the two teams this year, NRG Stadium.
Television coverage will be provided by ESPN with Roy Philpott providing the play-by-play, joined by analyst Andre Ware in the booth and Paul Carcaterra on the sideline. The broadcast can also be found via the ESPN app on any streaming service.
Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Brian Jensen will have the call alongside analyst John Harris and sideline reporter Chris Level. The radio broadcast can also be heard on SiriusXM channel 134 or 199, as well as on the Varsity app.
RED RAIDERS SET FOR 40TH BOWL GAME
- Texas Tech will take part in its 40th bowl appearance in program history Dec. 28 when the Red Raiders face Ole Miss in the TaxAct Texas Bowl hosted at NRG Stadium in Houston. This is the fifth time in program history the Red Raiders have participated in the Texas Bowl and the sixth time for a bowl game in the city of Houston.
- The Red Raiders will have plenty of support backing them in Houston as Texas Tech quickly sold out of its allotment of 6,000 tickets for the game. The city is home to several prominent Red Raiders, including Tony Bradford Jr., Adrian Frye, Dennis Wilburn, Mason Tharp and Trey Wolff.
TECH, OLE MISS FAMILIAR BOWL FOES
- There is not a more-familiar bowl opponent for the Red Raiders historically than Ole Miss as the Texas Bowl will mark the fourth time the two schools have met in the postseason. The Rebels are one of only four schools in program history Texas Tech has faced multiple times in its now 40 all-time bowl appearances.
- The Red Raiders will be facing a school from the state of Mississippi in a bowl for a second-straight season as Texas Tech previously routed Mississippi State, 34-7, to close the 2021 campaign to improve to 15-23-1 all-time in bowl games.
RED RAIDERS, REBELS MEET FOR SEVENTH TIME
- Texas Tech and Ole Miss will face each other for the seventh time in history at the TaxAct Texas Bowl as the Rebels control a 4-2 all-time record versus the Red Raiders, including a perfect 3-0 mark in bowl games. The two schools previously met in the 1986 and 1998 Independence Bowls as well as the 2009 Cotton Bowl.
- Texas Tech’s two victories all-time in the series versus the Rebels came in a home-and-home agreement during the 2002-03 seasons. The Red Raiders topped Ole Miss, 42-28, behind 270 passing yards and two touchdowns from Kliff Kingsbury to defeat a Rebels team quarterbacked by Eli Manning at the time in Lubbock. B.J. Symons followed a year later with 661 passing yards – a Texas Tech and Big 12 record at the time – and six touchdowns to lead the Red Raiders past Manning and the Rebels again in Oxford.
- This will be a rematch of the 2018 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff that started the 2018 season at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Rebels topped the Red Raiders that afternoon, 47-27, to improve to 4-0 in neutral-site games between the two schools.
- Adrian Frye is the only Red Raider remaining on the roster who participated in the 2018 contest against Ole Miss. Frye, who was making his collegiate debut versus the Rebels as only a true freshman, went on to earn Freshman All-America accolades that season by the FWAA as well as All-Big 12 first team honors.
TEXAS TECH-OLE MISS CONNECTIONS
- Texas Tech offensive coordinator Zach Kittley will be more than familiar with his counterpart from Ole Miss in co-defensive coordinator Maurice Crum as the two spent the 2021 season together at Western Kentucky. Kittley was the Hilltoppers’ offensive coordinator that season with Crum as defensive coordinator for a Western Kentucky program that finished 9-5 overall with a win in the Boca Raton Bowl. ν Texas Tech offensive line coach Stephen Hamby was also a member of that Western Kentucky staff in 2021 as he worked three seasons total with Crum from 2019-21. Hamby was also a player of Texas Tech’s 2009 team that faced Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl.
- The bowl will place two of the youngest offensive coordinators in the country against each other in Kittley (31 years old) against Charlie Weis Jr. (29 years old). Weis was the youngest offensive coordinator in the country heading into the 2022 season followed by Tommy Rees of Notre Dame (30 years old) and then Kittley.
- Texas Tech associate head coach Kenny Perry spent one season on the same SMU staff as Ole Miss defensive line coach Randall Joyner. Perry was a special teams analyst for the Mustangs in 2020, while Joyner was closing a three-year run as SMU’s defensive line coach.
- The Rebels also have a Red Raider on their staff in offensive analyst Seth Doege, who still ranks fourth all-time in Texas Tech history with 8,646 passing yards, 69 touchdowns, 1,187 attempts and 819 completions over his four-year career from 2019-12. Doege, a native of Wolfforth just outside of Lubbock, is in his first season as an analyst for Ole Miss.
RED RAIDERS AND THE CITY OF HOUSTON
- The Texas Bowl was a welcome selection for many members of Texas Tech’s roster as there are 14 Red Raiders who hail from the Houston area. That list includes regulars such as defensive back Adrian Frye (Houston), linebacker Tyrique Matthews (Houston), place kicker Trey Wolff (Spring), offensive lineman Dennis Wilburn (Humble), tight end Mason Tharp (Klein) and defensive lineman Tony Bradford Jr. (Houston).
- This will be Texas Tech’s 10th trip to the city of Houston since joining the Big 12 Conference in 1996 as the Red Raiders are 5-4 in those games. It will be the Red Raiders’ fifth visit to the city in an eight-year span. Texas Tech will soon become a steady traveler to the city as the University of Houston will become a Big 12 member starting in July 2023.
- For offensive coordinator Zach Kittley, he returns to the city of Houston where he spent three seasons in a similar role at Houston Christian (previously Houston Baptist). Kittley was the Huskies’ offensive coordinator from 2018-20, his first full-time role after serving as a graduate assistant and student assistant at Texas Tech for the previous five seasons under head coach Kliff Kingsbury. While there, Kittley mentored future NFL Draft selection and the NCAA single-season passing leader Bailey Zappe before the two later went to Western Kentucky together.
- Texas Tech associate head coach Kenny Perry is a graduate of the University of Houston where he was a four-year letterwinner from 1988-91 as a defensive back. He began his coaching career with the Cougars shortly after as a graduate assistant for his alma mater during the 1992-94 seasons.
NEWS & NOTES HEADING INTO BOWL WEEK
- The victory over Oklahoma improved the Red Raiders to 6-1 at home this season, marking their most wins at Jones AT&T Stadium since Texas Tech had a similar record in front of its fans in 2009. It is the 11th time in program history Texas Tech has won six or more home games in a season and the fifth time as a Big 12 member (2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2022).
- With a win over Ole Miss, Texas Tech will secure its first eight-win season since 2013, which marked the debut season of then head coach Kliff Kingsbury. It would mark Texas Tech’s 12th season as a Big 12 member with eight or more wins.
- Texas Tech’s win over Oklahoma to close the regular season helped the Red Raiders lock in consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the 2012-13 campaigns. The Red Raiders will enter 2023 looking to extend that streak to three-straight years, which would mark Texas Tech’s longest successful run since boasting a .500 or better record over 18-consecutive seasons from 1993-2011.
- Texas Tech has become a regular at NFL stadiums, especially in the state of Texas, as this will be Texas Tech’s sixth visit to NRG Stadium. The Red Raiders have made 14 visits to NFL stadiums since 2009 alone as Texas Tech previously faced Baylor nine times at AT&T Stadium in Arlington from 2009-18 as well as Arizona State at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego for the 2013 Holiday Bowl.
- Texas Tech closed the regular season having played nine bowl teams this season, including two in non-conference play in Houston and N.C. State. The Red Raiders were 4-5 in those games with wins over Houston, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
THERE’S SOME HISTORY WITH THE TEXAS BOWL
- Joey McGuire will be making his second trip to the Texas Bowl as he was part of the Baylor staff that traveled to Houston in 2018. The Bears defeated Vanderbilt, 45-38, in what was McGuire’s first bowl experience at the collegiate level after joining the Baylor staff in 2017 from Cedar Hill High School.
- This will be Dimitri Moore’s second career trip to the Texas Bowl as he was on the opposite sideline of McGuire with Vanderbilt for the 2018 contest. Moore, who played for McGuire at Cedar Hill High School, recorded five tackles in the loss, including one tackle for a loss.
- Tim DeRuyter will be taking part in a bowl game for the 19th time in his coaching career, which includes his second career trip to the Texas Bowl. In his last visit to Houston, DeRuyter was the interim head coach for Texas A&M, leading the Aggies to a 33-22 victory over Northwestern. It was his final game with the Aggies prior to beginning a five-year run as the head coach at Fresno State.
- In addition to McGuire, tight ends coach Josh Cochran and offensive analyst Kirk Bryant were both offensive graduate assistants for Baylor’s 2018 appearance in the Texas Bowl.
- Texas Tech’s last appearance in the Texas Bowl, meanwhile, featured a few current members of the Red Raiders’ staff, including offensive coordinator Zach Kittley (graduate assistant), offensive line coach Stephen Hamby (graduate assistant) and passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Emmett Jones (director of player development).
TEXAS TECH SELLS OUT OF TICKET ALLOTMENT
- It didn’t take long for Texas Tech to sell out of its allotment of 6,000 tickets for the TaxAct Texas Bowl as Red Raider Club members and season ticket holders purchased 4,100 tickets during the request period before the remaining tickets were sold in only a day once they went on sale to the public. Students claimed more than 400 discounted tickets in Texas Tech’s allotment thanks to tremendous support, including a line that formed early on Dec. 7 that stretched around the south end zone construction area all the way to University Avenue. Joey McGuire and his staff joined the line early that morning, handing out various breakfast items to students who began to form a line hours before the official public on-sale time.
- Texas Tech’s last visit to the Texas Bowl with LSU in 2015 drew 71,307 fans in attendance, filling NRG Stadium to near its capacity. It remains the highest attendance in Texas Bowl history. Texas Tech also has the attendance records to this day for the Cotton Bowl as 88,175 fans packed Cotton Bowl Stadium for the 79th edition of the game on Jan. 2, 2009.