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Press Release

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL GRIDIRON LEGENDS CLASS OF 2019 ANNOUNCED

HOUSTON – The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Committee has selected the 2019 Class of Gridiron Legends, the committee announced today. The honorees will be introduced at the 2019 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game on Sept. 13 and will be inducted into the Gridiron Legends at a special pregame ceremony during the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl game at NRG Stadium on Dec. 27.

The class of 2019 features Houston Texans seven-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson, Rice All-American and 2008 Texas Bowl Champion Jarett Dillard, Former UT athletic director and Texas Sports Hall of Fame member DeLoss Dodds, University of Houston All-Time great quarterback David Klingler, Texas A&M All-American and seven-time Pro-Bowl offensive lineman Richmond Webb, and 10-time HISD coach of the year and High School football legend Ray Seals.

Houston Texans seven-time Pro Bowl and four time All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson started his career off at Miami Senior High School, where he lettered in football, track and basketball. He was named an All-America selection in his senior year where he caught 31 passes for 908 yards and 15 touchdowns. In his three seasons at the University of Miami, Johnson ended up ranking fifth on the school’s all-time receiving yards list after producing 92 receptions for 1,831 yards and 20 touchdowns. He became the second player in Hurricane history to crack the single-season 1,000-yard receiving barrier in his junior year. As a sophomore, he earned multiple honors and helped Miami win its first national title in 10 years, catching 37 passes for 682 yards and a college career best of 10 touchdowns. In the 2002 Rose Bowl, Andre Johnson was named the Co-Player of the Game when he caught seven passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The Houston Texans drafted Johnson as the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he started all 16 games and recorded at least one catch in each game. Throughout his 12 seasons with the Texans, Johnson became the team’s all-time leading receiver with 1,012 receptions for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns. He ranks ninth on the all-time receptions list and 12th in yards receiving. He is one of three players in modern NFL history to lead the league in receiving in back-to-back years. Johnson averaged an NFL all-time 6.0 receptions per game in his career and 80.5 yards receiving per game ranks second in NFL history. With a list of accolades under his belt, Johnson made seven trips to the Pro Bowl. He is a four-time Houston Texans team MVP, and holds the franchise record for the most starts and games played with 169. Johnson became the second-fastest player to reach 1,000 catches in NFL history, doing so in his 168th career game. He also holds the NFL record with 21 career games with 10 or more receptions and 100 or more yards receiving. Johnson set a standard for the Texans, making numerous records for the young team. In 2017, Andre Johnson made his official retirement and later in that year he became the first-ever inductee into the Texans Ring of Honor. Currently, Andre Johnson acts as the Special Advisor to the Head Coach for the Houston Texans.

Former Rice University All-American, wide receiver Jarett Dillard hails from San Antonio, Texas. There he played at Sam Houston High School as a three-year letterman and starter for the Hurricanes. He was a two-time all-district selection at wide receiver, and added all-area to his honors as a senior. Along with football, Dillard also competed for the Sam Houston basketball and track team. He helped the Hurricanes to the 2003 Class 4A state tournament in basketball, and competed in the 2003 Regional Track Meet in both hurdles events. After being accepted into Rice University and taking a redshirt his freshman year, Dillard came out strong, starting in eight games in his first season. For the next three years, Jarett Dillard re-wrote the Rice record book for wide receivers, passing a number of recognizable candidates to become a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award in 2006. In that same year, Dillard became the first Owl since Charles Torrello in 1997 to be named first-team All-America selection by ESPN.com. He earned second-team status by The Walter Camp Foundation, Associated Press, The Sporting News and SI.com. Dillard broke the NCAA record for consecutive games in a season with 13 games, sharing the mark with Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald. Jarett Dillard was named the 2007 Consensus C-USA pick and was honorable mention All-America by Sports Illustrated after leading the Owls with 79 catches for 1,057 yards and 14 touchdowns. He led the C-USA receivers with his 14 touchdowns, along with his average of 7.5 catches per conference game. In 2008, Dillard became Rice’s first Football Writers All-America selection since Buddy Dial in 1958. He also earned All-America mention from CBSSports.com. He became a three-time, first-team consensus All C-USA selection, the first Owl to be a consensus pick for conference honors for three consecutive seasons. Dillard led the NCAA with 19 touchdown catches and became the first receiver in NCAA history to have two, 19-touchdown reception seasons. He became the 10th receiver in NCAA history to top 4,000 yards receiving after his 88-yard effort versus Marshall. In his entire career at Rice, he earned five NCAA receiving records including; most career touchdowns (59), most career touchdowns by a passing duo with quarterback Chase Clement (50). Most career games with a touchdown catch (37), most games with a touchdown catch in a season (13 in 2006), and combined with Clement to earn the Walter Camp foundation National Offensive Players of the Week and C-USA offensive honors. Dillard wrapped up his collegiate career by becoming the 2008 Texas Bowl Champions as Rice defeated Western Michigan in his final game with the Owls.

Dillard was drafted by Jacksonville in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft where he spent three seasons with the Jaguars. The accolades didn’t stop when his playing days ended. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Ed Block Courage award. Dillard currently practices law in the state of Texas and is a longtime Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl volunteer.

Former athletic director for the University of Texas for 32 years, DeLoss Dodds is one of the most accomplished college sports executives in the country, with an athletic career spanning five decades. The Longhorns claimed 14 national titles under his tenure, including the 2005 National Championship in Football. Dodds’ career started after he graduated from Kansas State University in 1959 with a degree in physical education. After spending time in graduate school and in the Army, he became the head track and field coach at K-State in 1963, where he served in that position for 14 years. After guiding the Wildcats to six Big Eight titles and all of his accomplishments with the team, Dodds was inducted into the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame in 1989, the Kansas State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 and the U.S. Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006. DeLoss Dodds began his career in sports administration by turning a struggling “in-the-red” athletics department into a money-maker in three years as the director of athletics at Kansas State. Prior to UT, he acted as an assistant commissioner to the Big Eight Conference for two years. In 1981, Dodds was hired by the University of Texas to become the school’s sixth athletic director. In his career, he took another struggling program and revived it, overseeing the department’s budget and helping change the face of Texas athletics.  He guided the creation of The Longhorn Foundation in 1986, which raised funds invested in student-athlete scholarships, academic services, sports medicine, facilities and other resources directed at student-athlete development. During his tenure, the Longhorns Athletics program enjoyed some of its most dynamic times. From the fall of 1981 to September 2013, the longhorns claimed 14 National Championships and 108 conference (Southwest and Big 12) titles in nine different sports. With Dodds’ vision for the program, Texas became a national name. The Longhorn’s football run to the BCS National Championship during the 2005 season highlighted one of the most successful periods in UT Athletics history. That fourth title underscored a decade of achievements with at least 10 other victories in nine consecutive seasons. In 2006, Dodds was awarded with the National Football Foundation and the John L. Toner Award for demonstrating his superior administrative abilities. The following year, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. DeLoss Dodds was honored as the 2011 Athletic Director of the Year at the Sports Business Awards. In October of 2013, Dodds announced his retirement as the Texas Men’s athletic director, and the following month all the way up to the present day, DeLoss Dodds has served as special assistant to the UT President.

University of Houston All-American quarterback David Klingler was at the controls during the Cougars’ record-setting run-n-shoot days of the early 90s. His career started here in Houston at Stratford High School where he shined on the field. His performance at Stratford earned him multiple scholarship opportunities Stanford and Pitt for basketball, while Kansas and Ball State wanted him for both basketball and football. Klingler instead decided to stay close to home and attended the University of Houston on a football scholarship. In the beginning, he studied the nuances of the Cougars run-and-shoot play style while being a back up to 1989 Heisman winner, Andre Ware. During his college career, Klingler made a strong impact on the Cougars from 1988-91, bringing a lot of attraction to the school. In the 1990 season, a lot of weight was put on his shoulders after Andre Ware and then Head Coach Jack Pardee left for the NFL, putting Klingler onto the front line. To the surprise of many, Klingler did better than anticipated, breaking or tying numerous passing records in his tenure. Completing 726 of his 1,262 passes for 9,430 yards and 91 touchdowns, posting multiple school records and even more NCAA records. David Klingler set an impressive 48 NCAA records in his two starting seasons with the Cougars. One of those honors being the NCAA record for touchdown passes in a season with 54 touchdowns in 1990. This record stood unbreakable for 16 years until it was broken in 2006 in the Hawaii Bowl. The 1990 season continued to be outstanding for the quarterback, as Klingler led the Cougars to be ranked No. 3 in college football, the programs highest ever ranking. He racked up multiple awards that season as the winner of the 1990 Sammy Baugh Trophy, and the Southwest Conference Player of the Year. Klingler made a valiant push to win the Heisman Trophy and came out as a finalist. A stand out for the University of Houston, David still ranks in the top ten for career touchdown passes and yards, and currently ranks among All-Time passing leaders at the University of Houston. After his career with the Cougars, David Klingler went on to be drafted as the sixth overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1992 NFL Draft.

Former offensive lineman Richmond Webb had an outstanding career at both the collegiate and professional level. Originally, out of Dallas, Webb was a star at Roosevelt High School. He played alongside future NFL players, LB Aaron Wallace and WR Kevin Williams. Initially recruited as a defensive end, Richmond Webb switched over to the offensive side of the ball and became a dominant player at Texas A&M University. During his time as an Aggie, the All-American offensive lineman was a force on the field. He helped the Aggies win two Southwest Conference Championships and was All-SWC in 1989. Webb also received the Aggie Heart Award in the same year. His 13-year NFL career started when the Miami Dolphins selected him as the ninth overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. Webb took charge right out the gate, being named NFL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News in his first season. He also made the Pro-Bowl in his rookie season, which was his first of many. In fact, Webb was invited to seven consecutive Pro-Bowls from 1990 to 1996. A four-time AP All-Pro, Richmond Webb set a team record for 118 consecutive starts and helped the Dolphins make the playoffs in eight of his 11 seasons with the team. He was a key blocker and pass protector for Hall of Fame quarterback, Dan Marino from 1990-99. The success of that 1990 season, led the Dolphins to become the All-Decade Team for that year. After his lengthy tenure with the Dolphins, Webb continued to be a key contributor on the field for the Cincinnati Bengals during the final years of his career. In his time there, the Bengals’ offensive line allowed the fourth-fewest sacks in team history and had the second-best individual rushing performance. Richmond Webb concluded his NFL career by retiring as a Dolphin in 2005. Soon after, Webb was added to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2006 along with former S Dick Anderson. In 2007, Richmond Webb was inducted into the Texas A&M Hall of Fame and currently ranks no. 16 on the list of the All-Time Greatest Aggies.

Legendary Head Football coach and Athletic Coordinator, Ray Seals has spent nearly the last 50 years as a dominant figure in Houston ISD Athletics. The 10-time HISD Coach of the Year garners an iconic coaching career and has been recognized on the high school, college and professional level. Seals got his start in HISD in 1972 after he was hired as an assistant at Sam Houston. After a few stops at Sterling Aviation High School, Milby High School and James Madison High School, he received his first head-coaching job in 1983 at Milby before taking over the head coaching position at Madison in 1988. For over the next 23 years, Ray Seals built a dynasty at Madison High School, compiling a 212-96 record, along with 21 playoff appearances. As a result of his success on the field, the Prairie View A&M graduate was eventually inducted into several Halls of Honor. These included ones from the Texas High School Coaches Association, the Greater Houston Football Coaches association and HISD. A well-respected figure in football, over 200 of Seals’ players have been awarded scholarships to play at the collegiate level. Another handful more went on to play in the NFL. A few of those notable names spawn under Seals’ coaching include former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young and former Detroit Lions fullback Moran Norris. In 2008, Ray Seals was selected as the NFL High School Coach of the Year. A few years later, Seals was named the inaugural Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year after being nominated by the Houston Texans. In 2011, Ray Seals decided to call an end to his iconic 46-year career. His record at Madison ended at 182-82-1.

The 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will feature teams from the Big 12 and SEC and will kick off at 5:45 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 27. The game, which has ranked fifth in bowl game attendance in the country behind only the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Peach Bowls since 2014, will air nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio with a local radio broadcast on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM).

Tickets remain for the 2019 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game featuring the University of Houston Cougars and the Washington State Cougars on Friday, September 13 and can be purchased through the website at http://www.advocaretexaskickoff.com/tickets/.

CONTACTS:
Allie LeClair
(832) 667-2050
allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

Brianna Lewis
(832) 667-2035
brianna.lewis@houstontexans.com

Press Release

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL TO CONTINUE FEATURING SEC & BIG 12 TEAMS THROUGH 2025

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

 

HOUSTON – The Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 Conference announced on Tuesday a six-year agreement to continue its association with the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl through 2025. The 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Friday, Dec. 27, at 5:45 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium in Houston.

The SEC will maintain its current bowl selection process in which the Citrus Bowl has the first selection of available SEC teams after any conference schools have qualified for the College Football Playoff, the Allstate Sugar Bowl or the Capital One Orange Bowl, after which the SEC assigns teams to a Pool of Six bowls. The SEC Pool of Six consists of the Outback Bowl, Gator Bowl, Music City Bowl, Texas Bowl and Liberty Bowl, as well as the Las Vegas Bowl in 2020, 2022 and 2024, and the Belk Bowl in 2021, 2023 and 2025.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will make the third selection after the College Football Playoff selection in the Big 12 Conference. The Allstate Sugar Bowl will continue to host the Big 12 champion against the SEC champion as part of the CFP New Year’s bowl alignment. In years in which the Sugar Bowl is designated to host a CFP semifinal game, the Big 12 champion would play in another New Year’s game if it is not selected for a semifinal appearance. If the Big 12 champion is slotted to play in a CFP semifinal in years in which the Sugar Bowl is not hosting a semifinal, the Big 12 Championship game runner-up would advance to the Sugar Bowl. The Texas Bowl has been affiliated with the Big 12 since the bowl’s inception in 2006. 

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is the fifth-most attended Bowl game in the country and most attended non-New Year’s Six game since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Peach, Cotton and Sugar Bowls.  The Texas Bowl and its sister event, the AdvoCare 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 $100 million annually for the city of Houston while raising nearly $1.6 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.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors 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.  For more on the event, including ticket information, visit http://www.academytexasbowl.com/.

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ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 15 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event, an esports event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

 

Press Release

14TH ANNUAL ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL SET FOR PRIME TIME ON DECEMBER 27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 23, 2019

 

 

HOUSTON – The 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Friday, Dec. 27, at 5:45 p.m. CT from NRG Stadium in Houston. The game will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio, with a local radio broadcast on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM).  The 14th edition of the event will once again feature a matchup of Big 12 and SEC schools as it has since 2014. 

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is the fifth most attended Bowl game in the country and most attended non-New Year’s Six game since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Peach, Cotton and Sugar Bowls.  The Texas Bowl and its sister event, the AdvoCare 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 $100 million annually for the city of Houston while raising nearly $1.6 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 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl featured the Baylor Bears and the Vanderbilt Commodores, marking the fifth year of the Bowl’s affiliation with the Big 12 and the SEC. In a hard fought game, Baylor and Vanderbilt shattered a Texas Bowl record with a combined 1,241 total yards, surpassing the previous record of 1,037 yards set by LSU and Texas Tech in 2015. With a victory over the Commodores 45-38, Baylor QB Charlie Brewer set another record with 384 passing yards and two touchdowns. Brewer also rushed 16 times for 109 yards and was named the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl MVP.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors 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.  For more on the event including ticket information, visit http://www.academytexasbowl.com/.

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About the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Texas Bowl showcases teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 13 years as it is the fifth most-attended bowl in the country since 2014. The bowl generates nearly $50 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated nearly $1.6 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 large portfolio of 34 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 15 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event, an esports event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, 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 websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.

-LONE STAR SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT-

Press Release

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL SETS RECORD DONATION TO DEPELCHIN CHILDREN’S CENTER

    

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, February 21, 2019

 

HOUSTON – The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl presented a check for $200,000 to DePelchin Children’s Center earlier today, setting a record single-year donation to the charity. The donation came from the proceeds of the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl.

The Bowl presented the $200,000 check to Jenifer Jarriel, the President and CEO of the DePelchin Children’s Center. The gift was the largest in Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl history and marked the first time that the Bowl contributed $200,000 or more to DePelchin.  Additionally, the Bowl’s title sponsor, Academy Sports + Outdoors, provided a donation of $10,000 in games and equipment for use at DePelchin facilities for families served by the organization.

“We are thrilled to present DePelchin Children’s Center with the largest single-year donation since our alignment in 2006,” Chairman of the Texas Bowl June Deadrick said. “The relationship between the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and DePelchin is extremely important to our volunteers, staff and board members and we are honored to provide a significant financial contribution to the charity each year.”

DePelchin Children’s Center was named as the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl’s official charitable beneficiary in 2006. In its 13th year in 2018, the Bowl surpassed $1.6 million in total donations to DePelchin and has generated millions of dollars in promotional support and publicity to date.

“We are incredibly thankful for this record breaking $200,000 donation from the Texas Bowl to DePelchin,” DePelchin President and CEO Jenifer Jarriel said. “Not only does this donation provide much needed financial support, but this partnership provides our families with experiences throughout the year that will last a lifetime.”

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 agency was originally founded as an orphanage and has grown and changed over its 125-year history to continue to meet the needs of the Houston community. Today, DePelchin Children’s Center offers support for children and families throughout the Greater Houston area and across Texas, including Austin, San Antonio, Brownwood and Lubbock. 

The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl matched Baylor University and Vanderbilt University in the fifth year of the Bowl’s partnership with the Big 12 and the SEC. The Bears defeated the Commodores 45-38 in what was the 13th installment of the Bowl game.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment.

CONTACTS:          

Allie LeClair, (832) 919-0655

 

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next two years. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over the years. The game has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014 behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. In terms of its community impact, the bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy and through its relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.6 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity

Transcript

2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Head Coach Transcripts

Vanderbilt University vs. Baylor University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018

 

 

VANDERBILT HEAD COACH DEREK MASON

Opening Statement:

“First of all, congratulations to Coach Rhule and Baylor. I thought they played one heck of a ballgame. I'd like to thank the Texas Bowl for their hospitality and really, just for providing a great Bowl week and a great Bowl experience for our young men. I tell you, it was a heck of a ballgame. I saw great offense on both sides. You know, explosive plays. I thought (Charlie) Brewer was exceptional for them. I thought he played well. I thought their backs made plays. They made plays when they had to. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, special player. Obviously, he had a banner day. I feel for these 26 seniors, I do. They have put a lot into this program, and we weren't able to finish today. That's the tough part of Bowl season is that, when you're done, you're done. It's done. It's over and you don't get a chance to get it back. But, I do know this: this group's going to bounce back. I believe this group is resilient. I think all year, we sat with a young man by the name of Turner Cockrell, and we worked hard, extremely hard to honor his memory all year long. I know Turner is up there smiling. We didn't get the outcome we wanted, but his offense battled and it's just really a microcosm of the season. Defensively, we didn't play well, we didn't tackle well and that reared it's ugly head. Generally during Bowl season, it does, but today, just some missed opportunities and that’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate for this football team because again, I thought our offense played well enough, but not good enough to win. With that being said, I'll turn it over for questions.”

 

Just playing off of what you said about RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn, he looked like an NFL-ready back tonight do you think that performance affects his decision or affects your conversation with him going forward?

It doesn't affect my conversation. I think Ke'Shawn, you know, will get the information from the NFL and really respond to that information accordingly. The reality is, he's always been a good back. I mean, I don't think that's changed. I think he's an elite back. I think, capable of when the time is right of maybe being a first-round back, but there's a lot of distance between now and then, like in my opinion. But I've always said he's special. That's why I wanted Ke’Shawn back here at Vanderbilt and I'm glad to have him, and as of now he's a Commodore.”

 

It seemed like Baylor's offense, whenever they got to the line, they were looking to the sideline to audible or pick a play right then and there. How did that affect the way your defense approached it and how did that play into some of the issues you had in stopping those big chunk plays they were able to get?

I thought they did a good job of keeping us off balance. The dual-threat at the quarterback position, I thought was huge tonight. I thought he ran as well as their running backs did. The reality was, he was the difference in this ballgame when you look at it. I know they had some explosive plays, but he was able to keep drives alive with his legs and that was tough for us. You know, even when it got to fourth down, they went for it. I don't know what the percentages are, but they were pretty high on fourth down. They were pretty good on fourth down and that was, again, the difference in this ballgame. For me, I look at Bowl games. I mean, it's a slugfest. It's a heavy weight fight and when you look at this one, we didn't throw enough punches, we couldn't get them off the field and really that was the difference in this ballgame for us, stopping the quarterback.”

 

DB LaDarius Wiley said yesterday that tackling is often lacking in Bowl games because players haven't finished tackles in a month. Do you think the month off played into that at all?

“I really don't. I think, for what we did fundamentally in practices – what I saw sometimes in this process was just guys measuring and not bringing their feet to, through and beyond contact and that happens. I truly believe not going for three weeks with a ballgame can be difficult, but what else do you do? I think you put your players in position to be able to tackle, OK, and they were in plenty of position to tackle. Bring your feet to, through and beyond contact, wrap up and then get guys on the ground. Again, it showed on both sides, but we happened to be the bigger culprit tonight.”

 

How different do you think the performance of this team and this Bowl was from the Bowl two years ago?

Much different, I thought really, offensively, we were able to put up points and sustain some drives and really when we didn't sustain drives, it had more to do with us. I thought we were more fluid offensively. Defensively, again, couldn't get off the field on third and fourth down. That was the difference in this ballgame. But, our offense kept us in it. Our offense really kept us in it. We had some timely stops at times defensively, but explosive plays sort of ruled the day. For our guys, it feels similar because you don't get the outcome you wanted.”

 

What did you think about that crazy interception in the end zone off deflection?

“It's football. You know, I look at football nowadays and nothing really surprises me. I thought, a receiver goes to make a play, hits his legs, it pops up and Randall (Haynie) is aware enough to grab it out of the air. That's just a great football play by the DB and a missed opportunity on their part. It's football.”

 

When you look at the players that are graduating after this year, and moving into next year, what can you kind of take away from this game for the players that are going to still be here, and kind of let them learn and let them move forward into what's going to be another tough season?

Yeah, well, we'll assess, play what we did, where we need to go, how we need to supplement this roster and make sure that we're moving forward. That's one thing about football, football continues to move forward. Our last game was today, guys will be traveling tomorrow and then we'll get back to it as a coaching staff and figure out exactly where we're going to be. But, I do believe that we've got a good football team coming back. I think we have the remnants of a good football team coming back, a lot of guys have grown up and even though we lose some guys, I think there's so much maturity from some of these young guys who have had to play that, you know, we're going to be better.”

 

You mentioned Turner Cockrell, can you think back even as a player, going back in your career, have you been around a team that's been as much as this team's been through this fall?

“No. No. Not really, not teams that I've been involved with. I mean, I've had a thing or two happen, but this year's been a little taxing on this group. But I thought it galvanized this group a little bit. I think it helped them understand their purpose and that the game is a special game. Play it as hard as you can for as long as you can because you never know when that opportunity will be taken from you. And like I said, Turner is up in heaven right now smiling down, and our guys know and understand where he is, but they will all go forward looking to honor his memory and his name. I think that that's something that shouldn't be looked at as just a low point in our season. We saw a young man live his life strong, and in doing that, these young men have been given an opportunity to do just that, except they are living. They are going to fight for life. They are going to work extremely hard to be good football players and great people.”

 

BAYLOR HEAD COACH MATT RHULE

Opening Statement:

“Well, first off, I want to make sure we thank the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl.  I thought it's been an outstanding week.  I'm happy we won but life – not life changing but life altering, life happy moments for our players, for their families and our kids and our family, it's been a great week and want to thank the Texans and people of Houston. It maybe means a little bit more to us doing it probably here in the state, where our family and friends could be here. I thought our crowd today was awesome and we very much appreciate them for that. I thought today was a hard fought game, came down to the end.  There are stories in there that you couldn't imagine. John Mayers kicking his first ever play and has to go kick a couple field goals.  Issac Power, first of play and he has to kick it an inch from the goal line and he crushes it, and that's just two guys. But that's, to me, emblematic of the grit of our team, the toughness of our team, and the never say die attitude from our senior class all the way down to the freshmen that just walked on to the program. So, proud of our guys, very grateful for the Bowl, a lot of respect to Villanova (Vanderbilt) and Coach Mason. I saw the running back out there, unbelievable performance by him. That was a good football game, and hopefully our seniors leave feeling like they left a legacy, and hopefully our young players build off it as we move into the future. I'm very proud to be here right now.” 

 

You guys showed a whole lot of resilience all night and it was needed in this game, as back and forth as it was. 

“Yeah, as I told our guys, would we have wanted it any other way; the way our season's gone, the way we battled back.  We didn't want it to be easy, and that was a great football game. And at the same time, who are we to think a team – they lost to Notre Dame 21-17, they beat Tennessee for the third straight year, they won three of their last four and they play in the SEC, like that's a real football team. They are going to fight and battle till the end, and I was proud of our guys for fighting and battling till the end, even when we dropped that last interception on third down, to go out and get the stop on fourth down I thought was huge. So many different guys stepping up, and that's what was fun about it for me was watching it, Charlie (Brewer) hits Trestan (Ebner) for a touchdown; hits Marques (Jones) for a touchdown.  Marques is a guy that does his job, and plays hard, and plays well and starts the year as a walk on, and finishes it with the game winning touchdown. To me that's really who our guys are.”

 

Coach had at least five fourth down conversions, some short yardage, but 4th and 13th, not short yardage.  Can you talk about that for a second? 

“Yeah, you know, the fourth and one was a long one, and we did that against Texas Tech. We went for a fourth and one on our own 25, and we did a fourth and one again.  You're going to look back, I think Charlie (Brewer) has been one of the great quarterback sneak quarterbacks of all time, this year. It might sound silly, but it's been so good for us. The pass to Denzel (Mims) was really I would say this was Charlie's football IQ because it was a high/low, where there's a guy at like six yards and a guy at 16, and he knew he really couldn't throw it to the guy at six yards, and he found a way to make that throw. I thought what Charlie said, I thought our offensive line did a really nice job. We were there to win. We weren't going to come out and be safe. We were going to push the ball down the field and go for it on fourth down and have some fun and we thought the best way to win the game was just keep possession of the ball, especially when they started moving it pretty well.“

 

One year ago, your team went 1-11. So from that point last year to now, how much has this program and team grown and how big is it to end the year with a bowl victory?

“You know, I asked them the other day and I said it to them before the game, I asked them to think about where they were a year ago and I think there's two things. No. 1, they did it with hard work. Like you're always looking for a substitute, looking for this, looking for that. They just did it with hard work. And even the team that played Duke earlier in the year, I just told these guys the other day, I don't even remember that team. That team doesn't even exist. Like they have just continued to evolve, every week into a good team, battle through adversity. So you know, they did it by working hard and working together. And then the second thing is, you know, as I said to them, this game was a gift. It wasn't promised to us. We got a thirteenth game, and we're here because of all the gifts that we've been given, whether it's gifts that the Lord gave us or our family and our coaches and even the wins and losses this year. Some of the losses were, you know, if you look at them, we learned a lot from them. We learned a lot from the TCU game. I learned a lot from the TCU game. We learned a lot from the Duke game. They are miserable when they happen, but if you're smart and tough and loyal to each other, you'll grow from the adversity. I want our guys to go out and take this game like a gift and learn from it, and I thought we did. We battled through everything, no matter what happened. Even me with the officials, a couple times, some plays, I was like, ‘What is that?’ and I tried to flip back, which is really hard for me, but I tried to do that because I learned that at the Texas game. Don't complain, just play the next play. I just think, you know, it's been just this slow process and the thing is that we want to be a program that's built on something and built on rock. So I feel like our senior class last year, the senior class this year, and then the guys that are sitting next to me and many more like them, they are building the program on the right things in terms of the right lessons and toughness and resiliency and battling back and celebrating together. That it will hopefully just continue from here.”

 

WR Jalen Hurd was obviously not in the game tonight and he was very special in the flats for you guys during the season. Can you talk about the adjustment period you had to make to make sure your receiver is still getting open in the flat?

“We have great receivers, and it's really just a matter of quarterbacks doing a great job of getting the ball to the right guys. You know, it was fun to have Jalen here. I appreciate what he did for us at Texas Tech.  Had a hurt knee and played through it and went and had surgery and look forward to him going off to the NFL and representing Baylor with tremendous dignity and class in the NFL, but we have lots of good players. We knew that Josh Fleeks and R.J. Sneed and Pooh Stricklin and those guys would step up, and Denzel (Mims) would step up, and you know, we had a lot of guys do that. The backs, all the running backs had big plays tonight. I thought it was an opportunity for a lot of our guys to maybe step in there and fill that role and build some momentum going into next season.”

 

Before you guys came in here, you gathered all the seniors, took a picture with the bowl trophy. Considering the past four to five years with those seniors, what does it mean for them to cap off their career with a win like this?

“Well, I think at the risk of sounding corny, what I said to them is that I don't think they will ever, they won't recognize for a long time really what they did from last year to this year. They have been so in the moment, just kind of one day at a time. But not many people do what they have done. Not many people go from where they were the last couple years and the changes and stuff. But they’ve done it. I'm just as proud of the fact that we had 24 college graduates out there tonight as I am that we won the game. And I said, ‘You won't recognize it now, long after this game is over, but you will remember the lessons that you taught to our young guys and the humility and the loyalty.’ So I was just happy to see them have fun and smile and play, and play one more game together, and they’ll wake up tomorrow and the next part of their life starts for a lot of our young guys. They will hopefully build off it, but I think the lesson our seniors taught is keep battling, stick around. So often, guys quit, guys give up, guys transfer, they do all these things, instead of just hanging in there, man. And the guys that hung in there, the Iras (Lewis), the Gregs (Roberts), the (Christ) Platts, all those guys, Pat Lawrence, (Blake) Blackmar, Josh Malin, so many more, they have accomplished a lot now, and that's a key lesson I think for our whole team.”

 

What brings about all that emotion from not only you, but your players after getting the win?

“I think I'm in the concussion protocol right now because they hit me with the actual ‘Gatorade,’ Gatorade thing. They didn't hit me with the Gatorade. They literally hit me with the orange thing hard. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I was happy for them, man. No one knows how hard we work, you know, and the coaches, players, everybody. I had no part in that offensive game plan. That was Jeff Nixon called an unbelievable game and Glenn (Thomas) put together a great third down plan and Fris (Frisman Jackson) had the receivers playing well and Shawn Bell, and George (Deleone), with the loss of Fran (Brown), George was able to go back on the field and coach again and Joey (McGuire) and Phil Snow, proud of our coaches and players. When you see them all smiling and laughing and having fun and celebrating, when you end the year with a win, it's a big deal, and so you know, I really wanted that for them, so I was happy to see that. I always go back to our families. Like my daughter is coming up there, my son, our coaches' kids, they sacrifice a great deal. They get to do a great deal, too, though. It's not like ‘woe is me.’ They sacrifice a great deal and, I want them to celebrate it, and I want all of Baylor and the fans, I want them all to have bragging rights tomorrow. I want them all to smile tonight and have fun. You sit back, thinking about how far you've come and everybody is happy, is a nice thing.”

 

What adjustments did you make in the locker room in the second half to slow Vanderbilt down and then how did QB Charlie Brewer and the offense then pick up the offensive game? 

“I think the thing that we felt like as I alluded to earlier, they were having fast drives, and we were having 7‑, 8‑, 9‑play drives, and you could see some of their guys starting to get tired, starting to lay around. So we felt like, hey, we can continue to run it.  Anytime we've run the ball like over 150 or over 160, we've won the game.  So I think we finished with 250, 260, 270 or something at the end of the game. I just think we felt like, hey, we'll be able to, because they are scoring so fast and we are having longer drives, maybe that will wear them down eventually because you know you don't win the game in the first, second, third. You win it in the fourth quarter and that's where we wanted to win it. I thought Phil (Snow) went down to a 3‑down front in the fourth quarter in the end and turned the pass rushers loose and big key turnover. So I thought the defense was constantly searching trying to find some things to slow them down and eventually did.”

 

What does it mean to you when you look at your players after the win tonight?

“Well, you know, the key, core philosophy of our program, other than winning but the key purpose of our program ‑‑ the job is to win but the purpose for our program is to make sure that players leave here with a life that's better than if they wouldn't have come. That they leave here better. Just watching them grow in two years is fantastic.  I can't tell you. I think I've gotten four or five e‑mails from just random people in the community meeting Trestan (Ebner), and helping. Helping disabled people to their car, taking time after a loss to help people.  They just kind of figure out who he is. And the way Charlie's (Brewer) handled stardom, I mean, fame.  It's hard for Charlie to go places.  People know who he is, and the humility that he shows and respect the respect he shows. Jalan McClendon and Garrett (McGuire) and the guys at his position, guys on his team, that to me is far more important than anything else. They go out and play football really well. So they are good students, good people, and I say those two, but they are a representation of our whole team, and I was proud to watch our guys this week at the charity events.  I was proud to watch our people, our guys all week the way they carried themselves, the way they handled themselves. I think some of the people from the Bowl said to me, ‘Coach, I've been around a lot of teams and this is the most respectful, polite, fun team to be around.’ They might not always be that way Tuesday at a practice, but they are fun to be around for a week. I'm proud of all of them, and I hope they feel good about the decision they made and hope these two recognize that now we've got to start right back over in two weeks. Julie and I are going to México tomorrow, and then we're coming back and in two weeks we're going right back to work because we have to take another step and that's what they will want to do. Thanks, everybody.”

 

- END -

Transcript

2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Postgame Notes

Baylor Bears (7-6) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (6-7)

Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018 - NRG Stadium - Houston, Texas

 

HEADLINES

  • Baylor and Vanderbilt shattered a Texas Bowl-record with a combined 1,241 total yards, surpassing the previous Texas Bowl record of 1,037 yards set by LSU and Texas Tech in 2015
  • Baylor QB Charlie Brewer set a Texas Bowl record with 384 yards passing and two touchdowns and was named the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl MVP. Brewer also rushed 16 times for 109 yards (6.8 avg.) and one touchdown
  • The Bears and Commodores tied a Texas Bowl record for the most points scored in a game with 83 points, tying the previous record set in 2015
  • Tonight’s game featured a Texas Bowl record nine lead changes
  • The teams combined for 571 rushing yards, the most combined rushing yards in Texas Bowl history
  • Baylor and Vanderbilt also combined for a Texas Bowl-record 670 yards passing, surpassing the previous record of 624 in 2015
  • Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn rushed for a Texas Bowl-record 243 yards on 13 carries (18.7 avg.) and two touchdowns
  • The two teams combined for 24 points in the fourth quarter, making tonight’s game the highest-scoring fourth quarter in Texas Bowl history
  • Baylor and Vanderbilt also tied a Texas Bowl record for the most points scored in the first quarter with 24, tying the previous record set by Texas Tech and Minnesota in 2012
  • Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn recorded the second- and third-longest touchdown runs in Texas Bowl history with a 68-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 69-yard touchdown run in the second quarter
  • Attendance for today’s game was 51,104

 GETTING STARTED

  • The retractable roof at NRG Stadium was closed
  • Vanderbilt won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff from the south end zone

 FIRST QUARTER

  • Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to RB Khari Blasingame on the game’s opening drive to give the Commodores a 7-0 lead with 14:04 remaining in the first quarter
  • Baylor responded with a 12-play, 69-yard drive, capped by a 23-yard field goal by K Jay Sedwick with 9:16 remaining in the quarter to make the score 7-3
  • Baylor RB John Lovett capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to put the Bears ahead 10-7 with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter
  • Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn responded with a 68-yard touchdown run to put the Commodores back in front, 14-10, with 0:23 remaining in the quarter

 SECOND QUARTER

  • Baylor RB JaMycal Hasty opened the second quarter with an 18-yard touchdown run to cap off an eight-play, 75-yard drive with 11:33 remaining in the quarter to put the Bears ahead, 17-14
  • Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn responded quickly with a 69-yard touchdown run to put Vanderbilt back in front, 21-17, with 9:57 remaining in the second quarter

 

THIRD QUARTER

  • Baylor RB Trestan Ebner opened the second half with a 34-yard touchdown run to put the Bears ahead 24-21 with 12:54 remaining
  • Baylor QB Charlie Brewer added to the Bears lead with a one-yard touchdown run with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter, putting Baylor ahead 31-21
  • Vanderbilt responded with a three-play, 54-yard drive capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by RB Khari Blasingame to shrink the Bears’ lead to 31-28 with 0:16 remaining in the third quarter

 FOURTH QUARTER

  • Vanderbilt RB Khari Blasingame scored on a one-yard touchdown run following a 66-yard rushing by RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn to put the Commodores in front 35-31 with 9:31 remaining in the game
  • On the ensuing possession, Baylor QB Charlie Brewer connected with RB Trestan Ebner for a 75-yard touchdown to put Baylor ahead, 38-35, with 9:19 remaining
  • Vanderbilt K Ryley Guay tied the game at 38 with a 33-yard field goal with 3:30 remaining in the fourth quarter
  • Baylor QB Charlie Brewer connected with WR Marques Jones for a 52-yard touchdown with 1:50 remaining in the game to put the Bears in front for good, 45-38

 STATISTICAL LEADERS

  • Baylor QB Charlie Brewer completed 21-of-34 passes (61.8%) for a Texas Bowl-record 382 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brewer also rushed 16 times for 109 yards (6.8 avg.) and one touchdown
  • Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur threw for 286 yards and one touchdown on 18-of-37 passing (48.6%) and rushed four times for 14 yards (3.5 avg.)
  • Baylor RB Trestan Ebner rushed 13 times for 90 yards (6.9 avg.) and one touchdown and caught three passes for 109 yards (36.3 avg.) and one touchdown
  • Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn rushed for a Texas Bowl-record 243 yards on 13 carries (18.7 avg.) and two touchdowns
  • Vanderbilt RB Khari Blasingame recorded four carries for 16 yards (4.0 avg.) and two touchdowns on the ground and caught three passes for 85 yards (28.3 avg.) and one touchdown
  • Baylor WR Denzel Mims caught six passes for 95 yards (15.8 avg.)
  • Vanderbilt WR Jared Pinkney tallied five receptiosn for 76 yards (15.2 avg.)
Team Alert

JOHN HARRIS: 2018 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL PREVIEW

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is like the objects outside a car mirror...closer than it appears. It’s coming fast and furiously and we can’t wait. The Vanderbilt Commodores will make their first trip to play in the bowl while the Baylor Bears make their first trip to NRG Stadium since 2010 when Heisman Trophy quarterback Robert Griffin III was under center. In that matchup, RGIII, as he’s affectionately known, and Baylor lost to an Illinois team that featured current Houston Texans star Whitney Mercilus.

Regardless, these teams each finished the year 6-6, but they both won week 13 games that earned them bowl eligibility. The Bears knocked off Texas Tech in Arlington 35-24, while Vanderbilt beat in-state foe Tennessee for the third year in a row to earn a trip to Houston. The Commodores were 3-5 with four games left in the season and a bowl trip looked bleak. But, head coach Derek Mason’s ‘Dores won three SEC games down the stretch to get to those magical six wins. This was also a Vanderbilt team that took Notre Dame, 2018 Playoff participant, to the final gun in South Bend.

Baylor’s season hung in the balance in a late season game against Oklahoma State. After consecutive losses to Texas and West Virginia, Baylor faced the Cowboys in Waco; it was a game in which Oklahoma State led throughout but couldn’t put the Bears away. Down by three late in the game, Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer threw the game winning touchdown to Denzel Mims to beat the bowl bound Cowboys. Mims finished the season as the team’s second leading receiver behind Jalen Hurd, who will miss the bowl game due to an injury he suffered in the finale against Texas Tech. Mims, though, led the team in receiving touchdowns with eight and none bigger than that one against Oklahoma State. Mims will face Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams in one of the most interesting matchups of NFL talent on the field.

For Vanderbilt, quarterback Kyle Shurmur had a tremendous season. He threw for 2,844 yards, 23 touchdowns and just six interceptions. In his final regular season game as a ‘Dore, he completed 31 of 35 passes (88.6%!!!) for 367 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, in his last five games, he threw nine touchdowns with just one interception and it was no coincidence that Vanderbilt won three of four to close the year in large part because Shurmur took his game to a different level.

It’s an NFL building so I’m going to be focused on some future NFL talent as well. Mims, Williams and Shurmur should all play at the next level in due time. Vanderbilt receiver Kalija Lipscomb and tight end Jared Pinkney are definitely candidates in the future as they still have one year of eligibility remaining. Baylor defensive end James Lynch, just a sophomore, has a bright future to say the least. He was a freshman All-American and led the Bears in sacks as a true sophomore this season.

These teams have only met twice in their history and the third one should be a fun one in Houston. Don’t miss it.

By: John Harris

Houston Texans

Press Release

LANDRY GILPIN, MISSION VETERANS MEMORIAL QUARTERBACK NAMED 2018 MR. TEXAS FOOTBALL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, December 17, 2018

                                             

HOUSTON – Mission Veterans Memorial Quarterback Landry Gilpin has been named the 2018 Mr. Texas Football winner. Gilpin will be honored on field at the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 27 at NRG Stadium, when the Baylor University Bears take on the Vanderbilt University Commodores.

Mr. Texas Football presented by Wells Fargo annually recognizes the high school player of the year in the state of Texas. The award, given in collaboration with Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, the leading publication for all things football in Texas, is voted on by fans, players and coaches throughout the state.

Gilpin, a 5-11, 155-pound quarterback, led an offense that averaged more than 46 points per game, totaled 4,544 yards and 50 touchdowns passing, and another 2,112 yards and 32 touchdowns on the ground. In two fewer games, Gilpin amassed 443 more yards and four more touchdowns than Allen QB Kyler Murray, the 2014 Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner. The quarterback guided Mission Veterans Memorial to become the third Valley team to reach the 5A state quarterfinals since 1990. Landry Gilpin’s numbers and unwavering leadership make him a worthy recipient of the 2018 Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year.

Former winners of the award include 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray (2013-14, Allen), 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (2010, Kerrville Tivy), former Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (2011, Aledo), Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (2007, Lamar Consolidated) and former Southern Methodist quarterback Garrett Gilbert (2008, Lake Travis). Oklahoma State freshman QB Spencer Sanders took home the award in 2017.

Fans, coaches and players voted for the state’s player of the week each week during the high school season by going to TexasFootball.com. Each weekly winner was announced online on each of the voting sites and their social media pages. All of the weekly winners were nominated for the Player of the Year award. The winner is selected at the conclusion of the high school football season, based on votes cast throughout the season as well as editorial staff consideration. The votes were tabulated by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors 2018 Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 27 at NRG Stadium and will be televised on ESPN at 8 p.m. CT. The game will once again feature a matchup between Big 12 and SEC opponents, with this year’s conference representatives being the Baylor University Bears and Vanderbilt University Commodores. Overall, the Texas Bowl has ranks fourth in attendance since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. 

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

 

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next two years. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over the years. The game has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014 behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. In terms of its community impact, the bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy and through its relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.4 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

###

Press Release

MAJOR TEXAS MUSIC ARTISTS TO HIGHLIGHT ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL PREGAME AND BOWL WEEK FESTIVITIES

William Clark Green to headline game day; Kickoff Concert to feature Django Walker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

 

HOUSTON – William Clark Green will perform live on the Main Stage of Karbach Love Street TexFest prior to the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. The pregame festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27 leading up to the 8 p.m. kickoff between the Baylor University Bears and Vanderbilt University Commodores.  Bowl Week festivities will kick off with a free ticketed show at The Rustic with the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Kickoff Concert presented by Toyota on Sunday, Dec. 23 featuring Texas singer songwriter Django Walker. 

 Texas native William Clark Green is a country singer and songwriter who has found himself onstage in more than 254 Texas counties. Green has a contagious ambiance and puts on a live show that is as inspiring as it is entertaining. Between two acclaimed and successful albums, 2012’s Rose Queen and 2015’s Ringling Road, and his anticipated new album, Hebert Island, Green has established himself as an important voice of his genre. Green’s desired contribution to the world is to provide songs that change lives for the better.

Karbach Love Street TexFest, the official pregame party for the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, will take place in and around Bud Light Plaza throughout the south end of NRG Stadium. Along with live entertainment, the event will feature select $2.50 beers, Texas themed food, giveaways, interactive games and spirit walks as the teams enter the stadium. The event is free of charge for all fans with tickets to the game. More than 50,000 seats have been sold to date for the Bowl.  Limited seats remain and can be purchased online at www.academytexasbowl.com or www.ticketmaster.com, on the phone at 832-667-2390 or in person at the NRG Stadium box office inside Bud Light Plaza. Ticket prices for this game range from $25-200. Special group packages are available by calling 832-667-2390. Fans can also call 832-667-2160 for more information on suites and premium hospitality.

The official kickoff to Bowl Week 2018 will be at The Rustic in Downtown Houston with the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Kickoff Concert presented by Toyota as Django Walker headlines a full evening of live Texas music.  The show will be held on Sunday, Dec. 23 and Walker taking the stage at 8:30 p.m.  Tickets for the show are free and can be secured at TheRustic.com. A limited number of VIP packages are available for purchase starting at $25.

Son of Texas singer-songwriting legend Jerry Jeff Walker, Django Walker grew up in a house where music was an integral part of everyday life. “Texas On My Mind,” was one of the standout tracks of Walker’s 2002 debut release, Down The Road. Through his music, he keeps the Lone Star musical tradition alive, but his tastes and tempos also attract the younger generation.

The following is a media schedule for all Bowl Week team activities leading up to the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Addresses are included at the bottom of the schedule. Media should RSVP to allie.leclair@houstontexans.com for all bowl week events. Times and locations are subject to change. Events are closed to the public unless noted.

                                       

SUNDAY, DEC. 23

TIME (Central)                  EVENT                                                               LOCATION

5 – 7 p.m.                           Rodeo Bowl presented by Wells Fargo  

NRG Arena                                       

 

MONDAY, DEC. 24

TIME (Central)                  EVENT                                                               LOCATION

8:15 – 11 a.m.                   Children’s Museum Scavenger Hunt      

NRG Arena

 

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26

TIME (Central)                  EVENT                                                               LOCATION

11:20 a.m. – Noon           Final Head Coach Media Availability      

Westin Galleria

 

Noon – 2 p.m.                   Team Luncheon                                            

Westin Galleria

                                              presented by CenterPoint Energy

 

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.               Media Reception                                        

Armadillo Palace

  • This event is free and open to all media members

 

THURSDAY, DEC. 27

TIME (Central)                  EVENT                                                               LOCATION

5 – 8 p.m.                           Karbach Love Street TexFest                     

Bud Light Plaza – NRG Stadium

  • Open to the ticket-holding public

 

8 p.m.                                 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl          

NRG Stadium

                                                              

 

HEADQUARTER HOTELS

Baylor:

Hyatt Regency Downtown

1200 Louisiana St.

Houston, TX 77002

 

Vanderbilt:

The Westin Galleria

5060 West Alabama St.

Houston, TX 77056

 

Media:

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

806 Main St.,

Houston, TX 77002

 

BOWL WEEK EVENT LOCATIONS

NRG Stadium

Two NRG Park, Houston, TX 77054

 

NRG Arena

One NRG Park, Houston, TX 77054

 

Children’s Museum of Houston

1500 Binz St., Houston, TX 77004

 

Armadillo Palace

5015 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77098

 

 

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next two years. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over the years. The game has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014 behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. In terms of its community impact, the bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy and through its relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.4 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

 

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 32 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 15 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Jared Birmingham Bowl (Alabama);Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Myrtle Beach Bowl (South Carolina); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); SoFi Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Collegiate Softball

St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)

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

ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com


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 the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, 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 and 2011 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 country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

 

CONTACTS:

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl 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

 

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Transcript

2018 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL CONFERENCE CALLS (12/2)

CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPTS: BAYLOR UNIVERSITY VS VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018

 

CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPTS:

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY HEAD COACH MATT RHULE (Transcribed by Hannah Pietsch and Sarah Hoffman)

What does it mean for your players to be able to play in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl?

For a lot of them to go back to their hometown of Houston and play in the Academy Sports + Outdoor Texas Bowl and play their last game in a stadium that they’ve dreamed about being in, in a town that they love. So it was really cool for me to see just how unbelievably excited our players are, especially our older players, about this amazing opportunity.”

What was motivating your team to go from a one-win season to becoming bowl eligible this season?

“Last year was a hard year, but at the end of the day, I could see all the signs of maturity and growth, even as we were going through a one-win season. I made the proclamation in the spring that we would go to a bowl game, so I had to back up what I said and I had to count on the players to do that. And, I said all of that because I really believe in our players. They’re a special group. They worked hard, and they handled adversity the right way. After seeing the way they handled adversity last year, I really wanted to see them manage success this season. And having a chance now to come to the bowl, having a chance to play a great team like Vanderbilt, this really makes it all worth it.”

How does this bowl game really help you in extra practice time for your young guys? And is there any advantage to having the bowl game in Texas for recruiting purposes?

“The first part of your question, yes absolutely, have a chance to get these extra practices with our young players. We have a lot of guys that—even over the last two years—that have played early, so I look at it as one more spring ball, one more chance for guys to get more confident to really learn how to trust themselves a little bit more. When you play a quality team like Vanderbilt, now you know you have to prepare at a high level, and every time that you go through that process of preparing at a high level it makes you better. I’ll just say this, having a chance to stay in Texas, and to play our first bowl game at Baylor as head coach within the state is an absolute home run. The impact it’s going to have for us in recruiting, last week I was out three days in the Houston area recruiting, and the anticipation from high school coaches, high school assistant coaches, Baylor people in the high schools, and recruits, the anticipation of Baylor coming down and spending a week in Houston was palpable. For us to be able to practice there and play there, and just as importantly, go out and do the bowl events and do them at a high level in the community, it’s just an absolute home run for us as we continue to try and build the program.”

 

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY HEAD COACH DEREK MASON (Transcribed by Sarah Hoffman, Hannah Pietsch and Stephanie Ramsey)

What are you looking forward to most? 

“We recruit in Texas, and first of all, I’m excited and honored that we have the opportunity to represent Vanderbilt University in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Our football team is definitely excited. We feel like we finished the season strong, and this football team has been in two bowl games in the last three years and six in the last 10 years. We've got several student athletes from the state of Texas. The Odeyingbo brothers – Dare and Dayo – Dimitri Moore, Braden Kopp, so we’ve got young men from that area, and we recruit in Texas. I also understand the rich tradition of Texas football and really are extremely excited, because we have a huge alumni base there in Houston. It’s going to be a great ball game, obviously going against Baylor and Coach (Matt) Rhule. We faced each other my first year here when he was at the University of Temple, and now when you look at the two coaches in different spots both 6-6 with an opportunity to play each other in an extremely rich environment, so excited about it.” 

Can you give an assessment of where your team is at at this point?

“Yeah, as I take a look at it, this football team it had to really find itself. We lost some tough ball games this season. You can go back and look at Notre Dame, you can look at where we were versus Florida, in that ball game, Kentucky was extremely close, I felt like we had a chance to beat Missouri, at Missouri. Then, this team found itself with its back against the wall knowing that there really was no margin for error. It was win or go home. I thought that what this football team did on the backstretch was just what this team was capable of. We played, not mistake-free football, but complementary football all the way around – offense, defense, special teams, and found ourselves playing our best ball at the right time. We played almost a complete game versus Ole Miss, and found ourselves playing a pretty complete game to fish out another straight victory against Tennessee in three years. So, I think this football team has grown up. It has a lot to do with some of these players, like Kyle Shurmur, Jared Pinkney these guys have grown up before our eyes. For us, we’re excited with this team and to go down and play some football in the State of Texas.”

Can you elaborate on what QB Kyle Shurmur has meant to this team?

“Yeah, Shurmur finds himself in his fourth straight years as a starter, he had to jump in midway through his freshman year and grow up fast in a conference that really doesn’t – or a conference that really isn’t for the faint of heart. He had to learn early, every year he’s put a little more on his resume. He’s learned how to handle the pressure being a quarterback in the SEC. He’s learned how to make the play to his strengths and worry about what he can do. I think along the way he’s become a pretty prolific play caller. Because in this day and age, when you have guys getting most of their play calling and signaling from the sideline, Kyle Shurmur’s been able to do it for the last two years pretty much on his own. He gets play call, but he has opportunity to check at the line of scrimmage. Most of this offense is check with me, with him having the final say so. So, I just believe that he’s grown up, which you’ve seen the last couple weeks, especially the 31 for 35 performance against Tennessee really speaks to exactly what he’s become and what he is capable of.”

Do you have any initial thoughts on Baylor or what you saw from Baylor Head Coach Matt Rhule when he was at Temple?

“Got a good football team. I know Coach Rhule well, obviously, a tremendous coach. He’s been able to recruit and find his way in the midst of playing in a bowl game. I think that has a lot to do with his expertise as a ball coach, what he understands and really what he’s been able to put together. When you go through them, and you look at their ball games and what they were able to do, obviously, finishing the season with a big win over Texas Tech really propelled them in to this bowl game. As I had a chance to watch them, the win over Oklahoma State, I was just looking at some film earlier in the day – didn’t know if we’d play them or not, but just went through their games just to see who they had and what it was. I saw the Oklahoma State game and watched that, and I was impressed. When you talk about his team, his team is going to fight. They’re resilient. They’re a program that’s been building. Now he’s falling in to some guys that are juniors and seniors, and when you start to do that, those guys start to understand your culture.”

 -LSSE-