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Press Release

TICKETS FOR THE 2018 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL GO ON SALE THURSDAY, AUG. 23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, August 23, 2018

HOUSTON – Tickets for the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will go on sale to the general public today, Thursday, Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. CT.

This year’s game, showcasing teams from the Big 12 and SEC, will be played on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium in Houston and will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

Ticket prices range from $37-150 and may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, on the phone at 832-667-2390 or in person at the NRG Stadium box office inside Bud Light Plaza. 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.  To date, over 40,000 seats have already been sold for the 2018 game.

Last year’s Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl saw the Texas Longhorns defeat the Missouri Tigers 33-16. The 2017 game was among the top-five most-attended bowls in the country for the fourth consecutive year. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time.

For more information, visit www.AcademyTexasBowl.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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; 14 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 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); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); 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.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Collegiate Softball
Elite Softball Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)

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 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.

CONTACT:
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com  

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Press Release

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL GRIDIRON LEGENDS CLASS OF 2018 ANNOUNCED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, August 6, 2018                                                                                 

HOUSTON – The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Committee has selected the 2018 Class of Gridiron Legends, the committee announced today. The honorees will be introduced at the 2018 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game on Sept. 1 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 2018 features University of Houston All-American Alois Blackwell, Super Bowl V champion and TCU legend Norm Bulaich, New England Patriots Hall of Fame member and three-time NFL All-Pro selection Raymond Clayborn, four-time Super Bowl Champion Gary Kubiak, Texas high school coaching legend Barton Massey and five-time NFL Pro Bowl and four-time NFL All-Pro honoree, Texas Tech alum Wes Welker.

The Gridiron Legends have each made a noteworthy contribution to the game of football in the state of Texas at the high school, collegiate or professional level. The 2018 class joins 71 other Gridiron Legends who have been inducted since the Bowl’s inception in 2006, including Texas greats Earl Campbell, Joe Greene, Andre Ware, Bum Phillips, Jim Nantz, John David Crow and Dave Campbell.

University of Houston All-American and Hall of Honor running back Alois Blackwell started his football career at Cuero High School in Cuero, Texas.  With a record setting career at Houston, he ranks ninth in career rushing yards with 2,467 and 10th for a single season with 1,169 yards. Blackwell earned the starting running back position his redshirt sophomore year when he registered 934 rushing yards, eight touchdowns and three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Blackwell contributed to the team’s achievement of a Southwest Conference co-championship as well as a national ranking of fourth, the highest in school history. In the 1977 Cotton Bowl, he rushed for 149 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Cougars. Blackwell was named the 1977 Cotton Bowl’s Most Valuable Player after his performance in the 30-21 victory over the Maryland Terrapins. That year he was also honored with the Houston Sportswriter’s Player of the Year. In 1978, the All-American was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys where he played two seasons. He then returned to his alma mater and served as an academic counselor for the football team for six years as well as an assistant athletic director of marketing and promotions for one year. Blackwell continued his career as an athletic director for Texas Southern University from 2001 to 2008. During Blackwell’s time with the Tigers, the program won seven Southwestern Athletic Conference championships, including a men’s basketball title in 2003. He also contributed to the opening of the Academic Enhancement Center for Student-Athletes in 2005. Blackwell now serves as the Principal and Senior Consultant at Athletic Shift Consultings for the past ten years.

Former first round NFL draft pick and running back Norman “Norm” Bulaich is a Galveston native and attended La Marque High School in La Marque, Texas. His professional career spanned 10 years after an exceptionally successful career at Texas Christian University. The fullback played in 30 games during his time at TCU and ran for 1,045 total rushing yards on 214 attempts. During the 1968 season, Bulaich attained the 10th most rushing yards in the Southwest Conference history after a season total of 503 yards. His success at TCU led him to be drafted early in the 1970 NFL Draft. He was picked in the first round and 18th overall by the Baltimore Colts. In his first season in the NFL, Bulaich started all 12 games with the Colts and had 139 rushing attempts for 426 yards. To finish off the season for the rookie, the Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V. Bulaich was the second leading rusher in the game for the Colts with 28 yards on 18 carries. He was selected in 1971 Pro Bowl after a remarkable 152 rushing attempts for 741 yards, 25 receptions for 229 yards and 10 touchdowns during his second season. After his time with the Colts, Bulaich spent two seasons with the Eagles and then five seasons with the Dolphins. During his entire NFL career, Bulaich acquired 3,362 yards on 814 carries for 30 touchdowns. The recognition for his success continued in 2012 when Bulaich was ranked 100th in the Miami Dolphins All-Time Top 100 Players. He now lives in Hurst, Texas with his wife and family.

Three-time NFL All-Pro selection and New England Patriots Hall of Fame member, Raymond Clayborn, spent 15 seasons in the NFL. The Fort Worth Trimble Tech High School native featured as a running back and defensive back for the Bulldogs growing up. He then continued his football career at the University of Texas, where his success earned him an All-American cornerback selection. Clayborn came in as a wide receiver but was used as a running back for the Longhorns his first two seasons where he ran for 529 yards on 83 attempts. In 1976, he mainly played as a defensive back and had 35 punt returns for 335 yards and one touchdown, averaging 9.6 yards per return. Clayborn also had 10 kick returns for 156 yards, averaging 15.6 yards. These grand numbers are what earned the Longhorn the All-American accolade his senior season. In 1977, the Fort Worth native was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, 16th overall by New England. During his time with the Patriots, Clayborn played in all 16 games in nine of his 13 seasons and played in 14 in two other seasons. In his first three seasons, Clayborn returned 57 kicks for 1,538 yards, averaging 27.0 yards per run and returned three for touchdowns. The cornerback acquired 36 interceptions during his 13 seasons with the Patriots, which was the franchise record for many years until it was tied in 2004. From the 36 interceptions, the cornerback attained 555 yards, 85 yards being his longest run and scored one touchdown. During Clayborn’s 1983 season, he acquired more than 63 tackles, 10 assists and 25 pass deflections earning him his first Pro-Bowl selection. One of his most memorable games was the 1985 AFC Championship against Miami when he led the defense in shutting down the impressive Miami offense and snapped the Patriots 18-game losing streak down in Miami. This key win sent New England to the Super Bowl two weeks later, and this earned Clayborn his second Pro Bowl honor. His third Pro Bowl season in 1986 was due to his 41 tackles, seven assists, eight pass deflections and three interceptions. Last year, Clayborn was inducted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame receiving 40 percent of the votes, the top vote-getter. He resides in Katy, Texas.

At St. Pius X High School in Houston, Texas, Gary Kubiak held the then state-record in passing yards with 6,190. Nicknamed “Koob”, the quarterback led the team to three consecutive state championships. His accomplishments, not only as a quarterback but as an athlete, named him to the all-state football, basketball, baseball and track teams twice. The 1978 St. Pius X High School graduate’s success continued to be recognized over 20 years later when he was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 1999. The Houston native did not travel far as he attended Texas A&M to continue his academics and football career. During his time as an Aggie, Kubiak completed 314 passes on 595 attempts for 4,078 yards and 31 touchdowns. In 1982, the quarterback was named first-team all-conference and led the Southwest Conference in passing yards (1,948) and touchdown passes (19). Kubiak was also given the Aggie Heart Award, which is based not only on production but the courage and determination the athlete possesses. After his impressive career as an Aggie, the quarterback was drafted in the eighth round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Kubiak played for the Broncos for nine seasons where he completed 173 passes on 298 attempts for 1,920 yards. The quarterback threw 14 touchdowns and rushed for two himself. As Kubiak’s family continued to grow, the NFL quarterback retired and began coaching. His coaching career started at his alma mater where he served as A&M’s running backs coach during the 1992 and ’93 seasons. He then continued to the San Francisco 49ers as a quarterbacks coach where he connected with Steve Young and helped coach him to an MVP season. The 49ers continued to the Super Bowl and beat the San Diego Chargers, 49-26. After his successful season with the 49ers, the Broncos hired Kubiak as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, where he would be working with former teammate, John Elway. The reunion between the once back-up quarterback and current quarterback became quite the duo, and the Broncos went on to win a pair of Super Bowl titles in 1997 and ’98. Kubiak spent 11 seasons with the Broncos before becoming the head coach of the Texans after the 2005 season. He led the newly founded team to back-to-back AFC South titles in 2011 and ’12. Kubiak spent time with the Baltimore Ravens as an offensive coordinator in 2014, then returned to the Broncos where he contributed to a 12-4 season, AFC West title and his fourth Super Bowl victory. In 2017, Kubiak stepped away from coaching and currently serves as a senior personnel adviser for the Broncos.

Greater Houston High School Coaches Association honoree Barton Massey had a successful career in multiple sports as a player as well as a coach.  Massey received All-District, All-Regional, All-State and Parade All-American accolades during his football career at Austin Bowie High School, where he played in two bowl games, the Greenbelt Bowl and the Oil Bowl. The star football player was also an All-District and First-Team All-State basketball player all while participating in baseball and track. Massey continued his football career at Texas Tech and was a four-year starter for the Red Raiders. During his collegiate career, the All-American Center played in the 1952 Sun Bowl, where he contributed to the team’s victory against College of Pacific. Then in 1954, Massey helped lead the team to success in the Gator Bowl against Auburn University. During the seasons the Red Raiders did not qualify for a bowl game, Massey played on the basketball team. He even played in the 1956 NCAA basketball tournament in Kansas City. In 1956, Massey’s senior year, the center was named to the Honorable Mention All-American list and was later drafted by the Green Bay Packers. After his athletic career ended, Massey remained involved within the sports world. The Texas Tech alumni helped coach the Red Raider’s football team for one year, then returned home and was the assistant football and basketball coach as well as the head baseball coach at Bowie High School from 1958 to 1959. Massey was promoted to head football coach from 1960-1964. Continuing his coaching career, he spent time at Bryan High School as a football and baseball coach, as well as Aldine High School where he coached football. After many years of coaching, Massey became the Director of the Texas High School Coaches Association from 1973 to 1975. The former Red Raider was named a Texas Tech 50-Yard Line Hall of Honor member and was elected to the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association Ronnie Bell Hall of Honor in 2008. Massey spent time as the Executive Principal at Conroe High School and retired in 1996. He later retired as a Consultant to Conroe Independent School District in 2002. Massey currently resides in Panorama Village, Texas.

Texas Tech Alum Wes Welker may not have started in Texas, but he has returned as the Houston Texans current Offensive Assistant Coach. The Oklahoma City native had an impressive career as a quintuple threat at Heritage Hall high school. As a rusher, receiver, kick returner and kicker, the athlete had notable numbers in every category. He accumulated 3,235 rushing yards for 53 touchdowns, 174 receptions for 2,551 yards and 27 touchdowns, returned seven kicks for touchdowns, made 35 field goals, including a 57-yarder, and 165 extra points; totaling 818 points in four years. On defense, Welker totaled 581 tackles, 22 interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Welker’s success continued during his time at Texas Tech. The wide receiver totaled 259 receptions for 3,069 yards and 21 touchdowns. Welker also ran the ball 79 carries for 559 yards and two touchdowns. He started nearly every game as a Red Raider, left as a leading receiver in school history, was named first-team All-Big 12 in 2002 and ‘03 and was one of the top punt returners in NCAA history. In 2003, he was recognized for his talent and was honored with the Mosi Tatupu Award as the College Football Special Teams Player of the Year. Welker was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2004. In Welker’s debut as a Charger, he had four kick returns for 102 yards, all more than 20 yards. Between kick and punt returns, Welker had a combined 447 returns for 6,722 yards and one touchdown. His stats were incredible on special teams, and he also broke records as a receiver. In 2007, Welker’s first season with the Patriots, the receiver caught 112 receptions for 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns. After six seasons in New England, Welker holds the second all-time receiving record for the Patriots, having been targeted 926 times with 672 receptions. He totaled 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns and holds the fourth highest single-season reception totals in Patriots’ history. His NFL career continued when he signed with the Broncos in 2013. During his debut, Welker posted nine receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, Welker caught a touchdown pass in eight of the first 10 games of the season. In week 7 in 2014 with the Broncos, Welker passed Rod Smith for the most receptions by an undrafted player in NFL history. He also caught Peyton Manning’s 508th career touchdown pass, which tied Brett Farve for the most all-time. During his 12 seasons in the NFL, Welker had three Super Bowl appearances, five consecutive NFL Pro Bowl honors and four NFL All-Pro honors. He finished with 903 receptions for 9,924 yards and 50 touchdowns.

The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will feature teams from the Big 12 and SEC and will kick off at 8 p.m. CT on Thursday, Dec. 27. The game, which has ranked fourth in bowl game attendance in the country behind only the Rose, Cotton 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 2018 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game featuring the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Ole Miss Rebels and can be purchased through the website at http://www.advocaretexaskickoff.com/tickets/.

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

Stephanie Ramsey 

(832) 667-2035

stephanie.ramsey@houstontexans.com 

Press Release

13TH ANNUAL ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL SET FOR PRIME TIME ON DECEMBER 27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

HOUSTON – The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 8 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 13th 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 fourth most attended Bowl game in the country and most attended non-New Year’s Six game since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach 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 $1.4 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.

In the first year with new title sponsor Academy Spots + Outdoors in 2017, the Texas Bowl featured the Texas Longhorns and the Missouri Tigers, the fourth year of the bowl’s affiliation with the Big 12 and the SEC. En route to beating the Tigers 33-16, the Longhorns tied an Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl record by scoring 14 points in the first quarter of the matchup.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is one of 14 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/.

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 12 years as it is the fourth most-attended bowl in the country since 2014. The bowl generates nearly $50 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated nearly $1.4 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 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 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); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); 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 (TBD); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

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

-LONE STAR SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT-

Press Release

LOCAL FOOTBALL COMMUNITY TAKES A STAND WITH DEPELCHIN AGAINST CHILD ABUSE IN HARRIS COUNTY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

What:
Coach Major Applewhite with University of Houston football team players and Coach Mike Bloomgren with Rice University football team players, along with the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Board of Directors, will join DePelchin Children’s Center Monday morning to tie blue ribbons for the 6,551 victims of child abuse in Harris County in 2017.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there were 6,551 confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect in Harris County last year. DePelchin has set a goal of tying 6,551 blue ribbons to its fence line, with help from the community, throughout the month of April. This event will mark the final blue ribbons being tied to reach the goal.

When:
Monday, April 30, 2018
10am

Where:
DePelchin Children’s Center
100 Sandman, Houston TX 77007

Visual:

  • Coach Major Applewhite with University of Houston football team players; Coach Mike Bloomgren with Rice University football team players along with the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Board of Directors tying blue ribbons to give a voice to children of Harris County impacted by child abuse and raise awareness to this issue
  • Check presentation to DePelchin as the charitable beneficiary of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl for the 2017 donation
  • Remarks by DePelchin President and CEO, Jenifer Jarriel
  • Remarks by Texas Bowl Executive Director, David Fletcher
  • Experts available to speak on the topic of child abuse

Contact: Analisa Warren cell: 713-306-5651; awarren@depelchin.org 

About DePelchin Children’s Center:
DePelchin Children’s Center believes that every child deserves to be safe and healthy. An accredited foster care and adoption agency, DePelchin serves the most vulnerable children and families in Texas and works to break the cycles of abuse and neglect. Our approach to caring for children integrates 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. Founded in 1892, DePelchin is a nonprofit organization with locations throughout Houston and across Texas and gratefully receives support from individuals, foundations, corporations, government grants and the United Way.

About the 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, nearly $1.4 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

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Press Release

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL SETS NEW SINGLE-YEAR DONATION RECORD TO DEPELCHIN CHILDRENS CENTER

ELECTS JUNE DEADRICK CHAIR OF ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL BOARD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

HOUSTON – The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl presented a check for $185,000 to DePelchin Children’s Center today, breaking last year’s single-year donation record and pushing the overall financial contribution to nearly $1.4 million since the game’s inception. The donation came from the proceeds of the 2017 edition of the game.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl presented the record donation to Jenifer Jarriel, the President and CEO of the DePelchin Children’s Center. The gift was the largest in Bowl history and marked the seventh time that the Bowl contributed $100,000 or more to DePelchin. Donations have previously exceeded $100,000 in 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

“On behalf of DePelchin, we are extremely appreciative for all that the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has been able to give to our organization, including this incredible record-breaking $185,000 donation,” DePelchin President and CEO Jenifer Jarriel said. “Our relationship with the Bowl not only provides financial support that is important for sustaining our services, but also memorable experiences for our children and families.”

Helping to continue to foster this relationship with DePelchin will be June Deadrick, the new chair of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Board. Deadrick currently serves as the Director of State & Federal Relations (Government Affairs) for CenterPoint Energy.

“I am extremely grateful of this honor to serve as the chair of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Board. Previously having served as a member of the board, through this new position, I am honored to continue the great work we have done in the community, specifically with our partner, DePelchin Children’s Center,” Deadrick said. “As someone who has long had roots in Houston, I look forward to promoting this game in order to present the city as the exciting college football destination it is while also giving back to the great City of Houston.”

Before assuming her current post, she served as Senior Specialist with Reliant Energy’s Government Affairs Division and Manager of Government Affairs for CenterPoint Energy. Prior to her tenure with Reliant Energy, Deadrick was involved in local and state government as the constituent services director for Houston City Councilmen Chris Bell and Judson Robinson, III and as the Chief of Staff for Texas State Representative Fred M. Bosse.

“June has an incredible amount of experience in several professional areas as well as a great deal of involvement in the community, and this combination along with her passion for college football makes her an excellent choice for the board chair as we continue to grow this game’s positive impact on Houston,” said David Fletcher, Executive Director of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. “We are grateful to exiting chair Don Faust, Jr. for his service and contributions to the Bowl and its partners, and we look forward to further developing our ties to the Houston community.”

Deadrick serves as a volunteer and board member for several nonprofit organizations, including Miller Outdoor Theatre Advisory Board, Theater Under the Stars (TUTS), Houston Grand Opera, Texas Exes Public Affairs Committee, Stadium Park TIRZ, The Bryan Museum, Houston Harris County Sports Authority Foundation, Herman Park Conservancy, UT Health Development Committee, Longhorn Foundation, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Engagement and the Texas Exes Black Alumni Steering Committee. A sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston, she is a member of the Texas Spring Cypress Chapter of Links, Inc., a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a Life Member of the Texas Exes Association. In 2017, Deadrick was chosen from a pool of nationwide applicants to participate as a member of the Leadership America Class of 2018, the premier Leadership Development organization for corporate women throughout the United States.

“We are delighted to present DePelchin Children’s Center with another record-setting, largest single-year donation since the Bowl’s alignment with this incredible charity in 2006,” newly elected Chair of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl June Deadrick said. “On behalf of our volunteers, staff and board members, we are honored to have the ability to consistently provide a significant financial contribution to this organization every year through the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl as the relationship between the Bowl and DePelchin is one we value immensely.”

DePelchin Children’s Center was named as the 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 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff have grown to become two of the most popular annual college football games in the country and have combined to create an economic impact of close to $100 million annually for the City of Houston. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is the fourth most attended Bowl game in the country since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls.

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.

CONTACT:
Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050

About the 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, nearly $1.4 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

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Press Release

2018 SUPER BOWL VOLUNTEER EVENT WITH REBUILDING TOGETHER HOUSTON

Rebuilding Harvey Damaged Homes

On Friday, more than 150 volunteers, community members, and former NFL football players will show-up in work boots ready to rebuild Harvey damaged homes in the historic Independence Heights neighborhood as part of the NFL Sanctioned Super Bowl Event called Kickoff to Rebuild 2018. This is the twenty-third year of partnership between the NFL and Rebuilding Together and the first time a Rebuilding Together affiliate has hosted a Super Bowl Legacy Event. The 2017 Kickoff To Rebuild event in Houston repaired 17 homes in the Independence Heights neighborhood. As of January 1, 2018, Rebuilding Together Houston has been working in 27 homes impacted by Hurricane Harvey throughout the Independence Heights community. Construction projects include siding replacement and repair, scarping and painting, and critical repairs to the interior of the homes. As well, Rebuilding Together Houston and Baker Ripley staff will be onsite to help other Independence Heights homeowners apply for services.  Established in 1905, Independence Heights was the first African American municipality in Texas.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends scheduled to participate: Dan Pastorini, Don Trull, Dave Elmendorf, Alois Blackwell, Johnny Roland, Shea Walker and Gerald McNeil

Lunchtime Tailgate Row restaurants scheduled to participate: Bernie’s Burger Bus, Harold’s Restaurant and Tap Room, Antone’s Po’boys, Hartz Krispy Chicken, Dish Society, BB’s Café, We Olive, Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard and Alice Blues.

WHEN: Friday, February 2, 2018

8:30 a.m. – Volunteer check-in and project rally
12:30 p.m. – Tailgate Row volunteer and resident lunch
1:15 pm – Kickoff to Rebuild recognition ceremony
3:00 p.m. – End of day

WHERE:
Meeting Location:
7402 N Main Street, Houston, TX 77022
*Parking available at numerous surrounding parking lots and the surrounding streets

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rebuilding Together Houston
Julie Mintzer / jmintzer@rebuildinghouston.org / cell: (314) 368-7977

Strike Marketing
Joe Pogge / joe@strikemg.com / cell: (281) 384-6465

Press Release

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS vs. UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS vs. UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES

TEXAS LONGHORNS 33
MISSOURI TIGERS 16
Paid Attendance: 67,820

 

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL NOTES

  • Serving as game captains for Texas were WR P.J. Locke III, LB Naashon Hughes, TE Andrew Beck and DL Poona Ford. Serving as game captains for Missouri were QB Drew Lock, LB Eric Beisel, DL Jordan Harold and OL Paul Adams
  • Missouri won the coin toss and elected to defer
  • Texas P Michael Dickson was named the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl MVP. He is the first non-offensive player to be named MVP in Texas Bowl history and is the second-ever punter to be named MVP of a bowl game (Florida State P Graham Gano was named MVP of the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl). Dickson downed 10-of-11 punts inside of the 20-yard line with three punts inside the 10-yard line while averaging 41.1 yards per punt with a long of 58 yards
  • Texas recorded an Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl-record four takeaways en route to a 33-16 victory over Missouri. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl victory is the fourth by a Big 12 school, twice as many victories as the next-most conference, the SEC
  • Texas’ 14 first quarter points tie the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl record for the highest scoring first quarter and Texas matched Rutgers in 2006 as the only teams to throw for two touchdown passes in the opening quarter of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
  • Texas recorded fumble recoveries on back-to-back possessions for the first time in Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl history. Western Michigan is the only other team in Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl history to record takeaways on consecutive possessions after recording interceptions on Rice in consecutive drives in the 2008 Texas Bowl

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL PLAYER NOTES

  • Texas RB Daniel Young (64 receiving, 48 rushing) and Missouri RB Larry Rountree III (74 rushing, 37 receiving) both topped 100 scrimmage yards on the day
  • Missouri LB Cale Garrett had a game-high 13 tackles while Missouri DE Jordan Harold produced game-highs in sacks (2.0) and tackles for loss (3.5)
  • Texas QBs Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele combined to go 17-for-29 passing with 167 yards and two touchdowns while Missouri QB Drew Lock was 18-for-34 with 269 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
  • Missouri WR Johnathon Johnson notched a game-high 85 receiving yards on three receptions
  • Texas CB Davante Davis snagged the game’s only interception, forced a fumble and produced six tackles, a game-high for a cornerback

 

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL SCORING PLAYS

  • 1st Quarter – Texas QB Shane Buechele capped a five-play, 75-yard opening drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to RB Daniel Young to give Texas a 7-0 lead 1:32 into the game
  • 1st Quarter – Texas QB Sam Ehlinger connected on Texas’ second touchdown pass of the first quarter with a seven-yard strike to WR John Burt to cap a four-play, 55-yard drive to give Texas a 14-0 lead with 3:58 remaining in the first quarter
  • 2nd Quarter – Missouri RB Ish Witter capped a five-play, 50-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown rush to cut the Texas lead to 14-7 with 12:10 remaining in the second quarter
  • 2nd Quarter – Texas LB Anthony Wheeler picked up a fumble by Missouri RB Ish Witter and returned it 38 yards to give Texas a 21-7 lead over Missouri with 7:47 remaining in the second quarter. Wheeler’s touchdown marks the first fumble returned for a touchdown in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl since Arkansas did so in 2014 and the longest fumble returned for a touchdown in Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl history
  • 3rd Quarter – Missouri QB Drew Lock connected with WR Johnathon Johnson on a 79-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second half to cut the Texas lead to 21-13 with 14:42 to play in the third quarter. The 79-yard touchdown pass ties the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bowl record for longest completion and longest touchdown pass. The point-after attempt was no good
  • 3rd Quarter – Missouri K Tucker McCann completed a game-long 16-play, 87-yard drive with a 28-yard field goal to cut the Texas lead to 21-16 with 2:44 remaining in the third quarter
  • 3rd Quarter – Texas scored on the first-ever safety in Texas Bowl history after the ball was knocked through the back of the end-zone with 1:10 to play in the third quarter, pushing the Texas lead to 23-16 over Missouri
  • 4th Quarter – Texas K Joshua Rowland’s 41-yard field goal capped an eight-play, 30-yard drive to extend the Texas lead to 26-16 with 12:15 to play
  • 4th Quarter – Texas WR Armanti Foreman took an end-around 18 yards to give Texas the 33-16 lead over Missouri with 1:39 to play

POSTGAME QUOTES FROM MISSOURI:

HEAD COACH BARRY ODOM (Transcribed by Alison Chastain, Carrington Gilbert, Hannah Pietsch, Raj Sheth and Cole Thompson)

Opening Statement

“Thanks for sticking around. I know it’s late. I’ve said a number of times to our local media, the guys that cover our team and our football program, I appreciate the coverage that you guys do for our student athletes and the game of college football. I know sometimes it’s not easy and I’m probably not the easiest guy to work with, and I understand that, but I appreciate everything that you do. You’re in the game of football, college football, for a number of reasons. And one of those and one of the main reasons I’m in it is to help young men and build a platform for them in every avenue and every situation in their life. To build a platform to make them successful and help them be successful for the next 40 to 50 years of their life. When you do it the right way, you build true and real and trusting relationships. And you’re able to put them out in the real world, which is a hard, mean place, and hopefully they’ve got an opportunity from being in my program, in our program, that they’ve developed real relationships that when they are sent in to a situation in their home, in their family, in their job place, and things aren’t perfect and it’s a struggle, that they’ll look back at this year on some of the things that they were able to overcome when they were faced early in the year with a lot of adversity and they continued to fight and hold together. I want those guys to know and understand that even though it hurts right now, they are going to be better men, better fathers, husbands, coworkers – all those things. You do it the right way, and wins are going to follow. I believe that with everything that I’ve got. It’s hard to say walking out of that locker room for the last time with those guys because of the things that they’ve poured in to it this year. You’ve got guys that have been there a year, and guys who have been there five. They’ve done a heck of a job. Those 18 seniors, I wanted more than anything to send them out with a win, and I couldn’t get it done. We’ll learn from the good, from the bad this year and get in to the offseason and go get it. And the 18 seniors that go on, I hope they get to play football for a long time. And when they tell them that that day’s over, they’ve been trained to go out in the real world. I challenge our team and our program to look at our locker room as what society should be. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what your last name is, where you’re from, how much money you do or don’t have, those guys would do anything for each other in that locker room. And we need that to go out in to the real world. If we do that, then I know that I’m doing my job. You can’t walk away from an evenly-matched game and be minus four in the turnover margin and want to have a chance to win a game. That’s not the only reason tonight. Texas is a good football team. They’re well coached. But, also, I think we’re a pretty good football team too. We had some opportunities, but we turned it over four times, gave up a couple explosive plays defensively, couldn’t get anything going in the run game. That kind of puts the game in, the result that we got, that’s the recipe for getting beat like we did. We’ve got a lot of guys back on both sides of the ball. And we use this as the learning tool and motivation, just like we will the other 12 games we’ve played this year and continue to build our program and build our team. A lot of exciting things happening.”

Even after the loss, are you able to take a step back and see how far the team has come this year?

“You always learn lessons from the good and from the bad. We will do that collectively as a staff. I know I like winning a lot more than losing. The end of the year was tough on everybody. We will use some of the things that we did down the last half of the stretch to get us started getting into the next year.”

Was Texas taking the deep ball away tonight or just missed opportunities?

“I think a combination of both of them. They were giving us a couple of things that we didn’t hold up extremely well with some pressure looks we were getting to get tight and to throw the ball down the field. They were also playing some two high lopes that deterred some of that. It was a combination of a lot of things. Routes ran out of bounds. One was another shot there that ended up being an almost 50/50 ball and no call on that one. Then connected the one to J.J. (Jonathon Johnson). A lot of different things went into it. I don’t know if we had the opportunity to take more if Drew (Lock) had moved around the pocket a little bit we would have had time to get vertical down the field and things too. A combination of a few things there.”

If you look at the numbers, your defense actually did pretty well from the second quarter on.  That being said, how much does the first quarter haunt or hurt you?

“We gave up forty-five yards in penalties there pretty quick and they just drove down the field in one play. That and the tight end in the H position there, wing position, went uncovered and mental error on that. So, that was not obviously a great way to start it. They did I think at halftime, Texas was one-of-eight on third downs maybe. So, we were doing some good things. We gave up a safety and they scored when defense wasn’t on the field and take away nine points there. The takeaways, the turnovers, it’s going to be hard to win.”

How do you account for all the mistakes?

“Well, I don’t feel like we were tight. I thought we were anxious to go play. We had practice, we had fourteen practices, specifically when you get in a game, you feel really really good. We did a couple of uncharacteristic things, one on pass interference he didn’t turn and look for the ball. Acy (Demarkus Acy) held on the other one and then a blown coverage. Mistakes past that, we jumped off sides which is – that offensively those are drive killers. You already put yourself behind the sticks against a really good defense and it’s hard to overcome that. And then we didn’t run the ball nearly effective enough. So, a combination of a few things there. I don’t know if we were too uptight. I think that we were very anxious to go play and settle down a little bit.”

You were pushed back multiple times tonight especially in the second half, have you seen a punter like 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl MVP and Texas P Michael Dickson impact a game like that before?

“Nope. I guess maybe that’s why he won that award right? I mean he’s pretty good and they played well off of it. So a field position game anyway they can control it is pretty impressive.”

On that roughing the passer call on CB DeMarkus Acy, what could you ask a defender to do differently in his trying to come down after blocking a pass?

“Yeah, I didn’t know who the defender was. I don’t know if he left his feet before the ball was out of the quarterback’s hands so I’ll have to see it on video before I can have a coaching point on how to get that corrected.”

A lot of national pundits say that the Big 12 doesn’t really play all that much defense, that it’s an offensive conference. How does this Texas team stack up among the defenses in your conference?

“No offense, but I think the national pundits are wrong. You look at, and I don’t know and I haven’t walked in the Big 12 Conference and I haven’t walked in those shoes in a few years, but I know there some really good defensive coaches. The 12 games that I’ve watched on Texas getting into this game I saw some pretty good defenses played from start to finish so I have a great deal of respect for their league.”

It looked like RB Damarea Crockett went through warmups, but then obviously wasn’t dressed out. Was that just a decision made in the locker room?

“Yeah, we got to the point we thought he was going to have a chance. I didn’t feel real good about getting him into a game situation because of the lack of contact that he’s had, his protecting the football worried me a little bit. He didn’t feel 100 percent at that position, I think you’re probably never going to feel 100 percent, but carrying the ball with the shoulder and coming off of the injury with a surgery, it was a wise decision to say not to chance it.”

Same deal with WR Emanuel Hall, I know he dressed but –

“He played a little bit, then his hamstring tightened up a little bit more. So, that was an injury he’s had for a while in his career, and then he went out in the Arkansas game, which looked like a pretty severe strain. So, he did what he could, and he didn’t practice much leading up to today. So, we didn’t give it a chance and it wasn’t where it needed to be.”

I know Tight Ends Coach Joe Jon Finley got the play-calling duties tonight, what did you think of the job that he did in the preparation leading up to the game kind of as a standing Offensive Coordinator and the job he did today?

“Well, credit not only to Coach (Joe Jon) Finley, but the offensive staff who had some guys step in with the departures of Jon Cooper who did a great job stepping in over the course of preparing for a bowl game. On the offensive line, I know Matt O’Brien helped us out in the roles that you can. And, Brian Miller, those guys collectively along with Andy Hill and Cornell Ford they did a great job on getting us ready to play the game. Throughout the course of the three-and-a-half weeks we had or whatever it was on running the meetings and preparing the practice plans and the scripts, game-planning and all the things – I’m proud of the effort they put forth for our kids. They did situational football they did some things that tried to give us an advantage here and there and didn’t work in our favor a lot of times tonight. But, we did some things that we left some plays out there too that didn’t quite execute on. I think I’ve got, I’m really fortunate both sides of the ball. We’ve got a really good staff and they make me ride a lot and I’m very thankful for them.”

 

POSTGAME QUOTES FROM TEXAS:

HEAD COACH TOM HERMAN (Transcribed by Alison Chastain, Evan Dunbar, Carrington Gilbert, Tomorrow Huff, Christiana Johns, Raj Sheth and Stephanie Weaver)

Opening Statement

“Great team win. I know that gets used a lot, but we played really well on both sides of the ball – all three sides of the ball. I thought there could have been a whole lot of ‘Here we go again,’ after the first play of the second half. And our offense, we shot ourselves in the foot on one drive there at the end of the first half, and for the first time in my career, we get another nine-yard run on first down and our running back gets a personal foul for getting up too hard off the ground – was what was explained to me – and so we got ourselves out of field goal range there, too. So, we squandered two opportunities there at the end of the first half, and then come out and give up the long bomb there to start the second half, and there could have been a lot of ‘Here we go again,’ on the sideline and there wasn’t. These guys were dialed in. They were focused. They knew that our best was good enough, that we didn’t need a Herculean effort; we didn’t need the other team to screw it up. That’s a really good football team, really good. They don’t get enough credit for how good they are on defense. But I think if you look at the numbers and that six-game winning streak they had, you know their defense played lights out. They finished the year 13th in tackles for loss, and I think 23rd or 24th in sacks. That’s a really good defense. And then obviously that offense is unbelievable, unbelievable. I thought for the most part we played well defensively – turned it over, scored on defense twice with an unbelievable run by Anthony Wheeler – had some great blocks and obviously the safety. I credit that safety to our fans. I want to thank them for showing up en masse and making this feel like a home game. Because when Missouri had the football, it was loud and it was very difficult for them. I think they had three false starts and then obviously the snap where the quarterback wasn’t ready that resulted in a safety. So, hats off to our fans; you scored points for us and that’s pretty cool. But I couldn’t be prouder of this senior class. They were the glue that held this up-and-down season together. I think they knew what was ahead for this program, and they wanted to make sure that they left their mark on this next chapter of Texas football and they did. They did. From the defensive lineman of the year in Poona Ford, to Antwuan Davis and the late-season run that he had, to Naashon Hughes being a captain and leading this team. And I know I’m forgetting a bunch, but this senior class deserves a lot of credit for this win and giving us the momentum that we very, very much need heading into 2018.”

Can you overstate the importance of getting the losing streak monkey off your back?

“No, you can’t overstate it. It’s really important for these guys to call themselves a winner. To walk around in their hometowns here for the next couple weeks on Christmas break knowing that they had a winning season and winning a Texas Bowl Championship. And again, it wasn’t going to be life or death, we would have been just fine next year, but this was a big step forward.”

How critical can this be towards getting to that next step with this team and with this program?

“I think it’s anytime you can get confidence, give confidence to a fragile group of guys, it’s big. It’s big to know that we came in here and we made a SEC team that had won six straight bowl games and held one of the best offenses in the country, the best offense in the country the second half of the season to 16 points or something like that and four turnovers, they should be proud. They should have confidence going in to this offseason with another year of development and a year continuity and a year of consistency. And then add in some of these newcomers that are extremely talented and extremely competitive. I think that it gives us a lot of hope, but the confidence part of it is the biggest thing.”

How critical can this be towards getting to that next step with this team and with this program?

“I think it’s anytime you can get confidence, give confidence to a fragile group of guys, it’s big. It’s big to know that we came in here and we made a SEC team that has won six straight bowl games and held one of the best offenses in the country, the best offense in the country the second half of the season to 16 points or something like that and four turnovers, they should be proud. They should have confidence going into this offseason with another year of development and a year continuity and a year of consistency. And then add in some of these newcomers that are extremely talented and extremely competitive. I think that it gives us a lot of hope, but the confidence part of it is the biggest thing.”

Last year you called RB Daniel Young a possible steal in that recruiting class here in Houston, now you’ve seen him for a year he led you guys in rushing yards. Is he still a steal in that recruiting class from last year?

“Well I don’t think he’s hidden from anybody. Danny’s got a lot of work to do, but he provided us with again a guy back there that could break downs. That’s what we needed with as depleted on the offensive line as we were we needed a guy that you know, if it was block for two he could get you four, and if it was block for zero he could get you two. He gave us that.  He’s got a lot of work to do, but I’m excited that we’re going to have him around here for a long time.”

Where do you see the offense right now at the quarterback position going in next spring?

“Before you guys ask, Shane (Buechele) went out at halftime with a pretty good groin strain. We were going to play him in the second half. Went around and jogged around a little bit. Said he felt good, but Shane was playing ok as well. We didn’t want to put him back in there gimped up. He got a shot. I was proud of him for doing the things necessary to go back in. We felt like we were going to be ok without him. Where do I see the (offense)? I don’t know. Work in progress. Kendall Moore got hurt once and then got hurt in the fourth quarter with a second degree MCL sprain. If that game had gone into overtime, I don’t know what would have done running the football because we were down to one scholarship tight end.  We were down to two scholarship tailbacks that had played in football games. I don’t know. We’re obviously going to judge and be very, very critical of ourselves on that side of the football moving forward in this offseason and figure out ways to get better. But it’s difficult to judge where would we have been with Andrew Beck and Elijah Rodriguez and Connor Williams all season. I don’t know. I don’t know. Do we need to do better as coaches, you know coaching up those true freshmen that are in there?  Certainly we do. But there’s not very many teams out there that are lighting the world on fire offensively with true freshmen right tackles and true freshmen tight ends and true freshmen tailbacks and true freshmen quarterbacks. You don’t see that very often. We’re going to win around here with great defense. I’ve said it before, there’s been one national championship team since the BCS era that finished outside the top 25 in defense, and I think that was Auburn. They finished 31st and had a guy named Cameron Newton pulling the trigger for them too. And where do I see the quarterback position? I don’t know. They both played pretty well tonight. I was excited. That will be a good battle headed into the offseason. Neither of them has played so poorly that you can’t fathom them being the starter, but neither of them has played well enough to where you’re ready to anoint them. So they’re going to go compete. We’ll see who makes the most progress here in the next nine months.”

Have you ever had a punter affect the game the way P Michael Dickson did tonight?

“I’ve never seen one affect the game the way he did tonight, and I’m glad he’s on our team.”

Was there ever a point you thought about saying his name?

“When he gets his degree from the University of (Texas) man I don’t know. You guys are not going to bait me into that. We laugh and cut up, all those guys. When they get their degree, that’s the deal.”

You limited Missouri to be pretty vanilla with what you did on the field. Was that a key to the win tonight?

“Yeah, I think, you know obviously, we had to play well defensively. We’re not built to go beat a Missouri 45-42, and we’re just not on offense. You got to realize the quarterbacks we played this year, it is a who’s who at that position. I’m expecting Commissioner (Bob) Bowlsby to knock on the door and say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to go play Wyoming in an exhibition game here,’ or something like that. It is a who’s who at that position that we played, and we played pretty dang good against them. But, it was another, you know, much like Oklahoma State, where it was stop the pass and hope that you can defeat blocks in the run game, because we weren’t going to outnumber the run game, which is different than a lot of game plans. So felt like we did admirable job there. We needed to turn the ball over or we needed to get turnovers on defense, and we did that, and at a very opportune time, we scored on one of them.”

If you were told last month that you would be without a lot of players for a bowl game, what would you have said?

“I would have told you that we are going to do our best. And these guys are trained. One of the pillars of our program is called competitive focus. And at the end of the day, it’s basically when your number is called, do your teammates know that you’re ready? Because one of two things happens when a guy goes down — and even tonight at the end of the game, (LB) Edwin Freeman had to jog in when (LB Anthony) Wheeler got ejected from the game — and when that happens, when a coach calls on a backup, the entire team — coaches, teammates, everybody — there’s only one of two reactions: and it’s ’Hey, man, we’re good, and I’ve seen how this guy trains. I’ve seen how hard this guy works. I’ve seen how hard he studies. I’ve seen how he prepares like a pro. I’m excited to watch this guy play because I know he’s going to help us.’ Or it’s ‘Oh my God, don’t throw the ball to him. Don’t throw it in his direction. Don’t run it behind him. Because I’ve seen how he doesn’t prepare. I’ve seen how he doesn’t study film. I’ve seen how he doesn’t go hard.’ That’s it. There’s no in between. It’s either your teammates have the utmost confidence that you’re competitively focused or they don’t. And we train our guys on how to do that. And I think, it’s not us, it’s them and the buy-in level for them too. And it’s their ability to understand that and really take that kind of coaching and apply it. I would have said ‘Is that a choice? Do I have to play it with all those guys missing?’ But I would have been confident that what you saw tonight was going to happen.”

How do you characterize the end of WR Armanti Foreman’s senior year, and what was the thinking of giving him the ball on the last play?

“The thinking was we wanted to score another touchdown, and we wanted to call a reverse. We wanted to make sure if we were to call a reverse that it would have been him because he’s a senior and he has played well for us here down the stretch. He deserved it by how he’s prepared and how he’s practiced. My hats off to him. He’s had a really, really good last month of the year. We hope he has continued success. Hopefully playing this game for quite some time.”

END

Press Release

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL TEAM LUNCHEON PRESS CONFERENCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HEAD COACH TOM HERMAN

Opening Statement:

“Merry Christmas. Hope everybody enjoyed their couple days with friends and family. Nothing really in terms of an opening statement other than we are excited to be here, excited to be back in the City of Houston, excited to be able to practice at U of H (University of Houston). If you haven’t been to that new indoor facility, it is as good, if not better, than anywhere the in country. That thing is off the charts amazing, and hats off to Hunter Yurachek and Major Applewhite for finishing that thing really, really well. I mean, it is impressive. We’ve had a lot of friendly faces, a lot of familiarity. We’ve got a lot of guys on our team from the Houston area, so it was nice for them to get done with practice yesterday and be able to spend the afternoon and evening with their families and we are excited about the game tomorrow. Excited to be representing the University of Texas in a bowl game once again, and we’re going to have our hands full, though, with a really, really good Missouri team.”

Can you talk about, you’ve got seven of the Top-10 recruits in Texas. Usually if coaches go to a bowl game, this is part of the recruiting process, and you’ve already got a lot of that done, how much of a jump start does this give the program?

“Yeah, we needed to. This class had to be good and it’s not just good, it’s great. You know, not only did we sign that many of the top players in the State of Texas, but a lot of these guys are coming in in January. We’ll have nine early enrollees in whatever, two and a half weeks, and so to be able to have that extra six months on the rest of the freshmen class, really gets them hopefully prepared to play for us because we’re going to need a bunch of these guys to do that. Again, it was monumentally important that we keep the best players in the State of Texas at the University of Texas and we feel like we did that at an unprecedented rate, depending on which rankings you look at. But the thing I’m most proud of with that class is the – again, I keep stealing the line from Chris Petersen, “Our kind of guys.” These are – I didn’t have to worry about talking about depth charts and playing time and you know, any of the superfluous things that sometimes can get in the way of recruiting and really tarnish a kid’s competitive spirit. These are kids that all want to come in and compete, and that’s exciting.”

A lot of this, the bowl games, are which team really wants to be there. What indicators were you looking for from your team as the team that really wants to be there and what step do you want this team to take in this game heading into the spring?

“I mean, haven’t been in a bowl game in three years, so if that doesn’t excite you as a player, then you probably need to quit football and go do something else. Go join a club or something like that. But our guys, we have had some really, really spirited practices and that’s been really fun to watch, especially some of these young guys. We’ve gotten better and I think we’ve had 17 practices, something like that. You know, will it manifest itself in the game tomorrow? I hope. But if it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean we didn’t get better because we did. This is a team, if you’re an older guy on this team, you’ve had somewhere around 35 less practices than your opponents. Your opponents in Norman, Oklahoma or Stillwater (Oklahoma) or Lubbock (Texas) or whatever, you know, you’ve missed that, and that is crucial for the development of the student athlete. I’m just excited that we had that opportunity. And then, you know, I think winning this game will be important for us in terms of momentum. It’s not — you know, it’s not life or death, but we sure as heck could use this to springboard us into the off-season for 2018.”

Do you expect LB Malik Jefferson to play?

“No, but I’m hoping for a miracle.”

Big picture. Here you are, here at Houston, sitting at 6-6 in the Texas Bowl. If I could give you a few mulligans, as many as you wanted, what are some of the things you would have done differently this year?

“I don’t know. You know, I don’t think — obviously I thought about it there for a good few seconds but I think the timing for evaluation is after the season. You know, we’ve still got a game to play. You’re always evaluating schematically, you know, what can you do, what can’t you do. You know, how do you put your players in the best position to win. So that is ongoing. But I don’t know that you – I don’t know that I could give you a concrete answer without really diving into, you know, that kind of self-evaluation that goes on in an off-season.”

Since the Texas Tech game, you’ve been dealt a lot of blows: injuries, suspensions, going pro. How do you think the team has handled that and kind of responded to the challenge of getting through each time something like that’s happened?

“Great. We don’t – we don’t blink. These are guys that are still here and still playing. They are tough dudes, you know, and they just — you know, it’s just another day at the office, so to speak. But you know, I mean, it’s real. I mean, I feel for Tim Beck and our offensive staff. We have one tight end, one scholarship tight end that’s not being red-shirted. We have, you know, two running backs that have played in a game. So you’re really limited in terms of what you can do from a personnel standpoint and then the plays that you can call and then God forbid, a guy gets hurt and it’s like, ‘Okay, now we go to Plan B here real quick.’ But our team has responded at every turn and I’m proud of them for that.”

You’ve been with these guys for nearly a year now. What can you say you’ve learned about this team, some of the makeup, just the players, what different things have you been able to glean in about a year’s time?

“That three straight losing seasons takes its toll on kids, really does. It’s difficult for them, especially when you’ve dealt with – when you deal with adversity, it can be a ‘Here We Go Again Syndrome.’ So that has been an ongoing challenge of, you know, reestablishing the right way to handle adversity and the right way to compete and the right way to go about our daily business. But for the most part, I’ve learned, also, that these guys are hungry for that and that they want to be great and that they want to compete. And so — but it’s been a challenge to reprogram a lot of these guys.”

The decision to start QB Shane Buechele tomorrow, was there one main factor in that, and does that give him a leg up on starting position for next year or will it be a clean slate for all four?

“Definitely a clean slate. Neither of these quarterbacks have done anything so egregious that you would say that a guy is behind the other one, but neither of them have done anything really to take the bull by the horns. I think the decision to start Shane (Buechele) is just, you know, we didn’t play well at that position in the last game and probably, to answer your question, maybe one of the things to do different, probably should have played Shane a little bit more in that game. And so, you know, he hasn’t done a whole lot to lose our trust, nor has Sam (Ehlinger). So I don’t know that it’s – I guess it is externally, when you guys look, I mean, who takes the first snap. Great. It’s who takes the last snap and who is – because Sam’s going to play. So we’ll figure out who is playing better and who is in a rhythm and who is seeing the defense better and playing the game better and you know, ride that guy for as long as we can.”

You said that this team has gotten better during bowl practices. What do you want to see on the field, because you said even if you don’t win, it doesn’t mean you haven’t gotten better. What do you want to see tomorrow in the game? Are you going to be playing more guys that haven’t gotten as many reps during the season?

“No, I don’t think you’ll see any new faces out there. I think again, as long as we’re playing hard, and playing physical; we had a reaffirmation of – we got re-acquainted with a quote that’s around our building in a bunch of different spots, which is, ‘The pride and winning tradition of the Texas Longhorns will not be entrusted to the weak nor the timid.’ You can’t play timid. If we go out and we play with our hair on fire, figuratively, of course; if we play with our hair on fire and we’re flying around and we’re hitting people and we’re playing aggressively, then I think, one, hopefully the result will bare that, will be positive based on that level of play. But you know, that will be key for me in how we handle adversity. I mean, this is a really good Missouri team; one that they are averaging 52 points a game in the last six games, on a six-game win streak. They finished 13th in the country in tackles for loss and  top 25 in sacks on defense, too. So there’s going to be some adversity in this game and how we respond to it I think will be a big key for, you know, to judge our development.”

How do some of the absences affect matchups for this game?

“Not good. You know, when you lose your starting safety and starting corner for a team and a quarterback that led the country in touchdown passes, you know, that’s – we’re going to have our hands full on defense and then offensively, the strength of their team is their front defensively, and we’ve got to grow up in a hurry there. I feel good about where we’re at from a personnel standpoint. I mean, Derek Kerstetter is still a true freshman, but he got better over the bowl preparation. Elijah Rodriguez will start at left tackle and he’s had a really good session of practices. I feel as good about that group as I have all season. Now we’ve got to go do it.”

Specifically with Missouri QB Drew Lock, when you watch film, what do you see?

“Touchdowns (Laughter). I see a guy that is comfortable in the offense. He’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s getting the ball out of his hands quickly and accurately. But I also see guys, supporting cast, that are making plays for him, too. That is a very, very talented receiving core that they have and obviously you’ve got to get the ball to him and he does a great job of that, but they are also helping him out quite a bit, too.”

Is the plan still to run DB P.J. Locke III in DB DeShon Elliott’s safety spot, and how has he looked in practices?

“Correct. P.J. (Locke III) will play the boundary safety and Antwuan (Davis) will stay at nickel. P.J.’s looked great especially as we started to install the game plan, if you will, for Missouri early. Early in bowl prep, it’s a whole lot of just scrimmaging and not worrying about who you’re playing, because you get worn down if you are running the same thing over and over and over again. But P.J.’s looked great. I’m excited to see – I mean, he’s a captain. We have been – you think about just from a leadership standpoint, we’ve had one captain playing every game and that’s proved forward, I believe, and we’ve got five of them. Andrew Beck hasn’t played all year. P.J. was out significant time. Connor (Williams) obviously missed a ton of time. Naashon’s (Hughes) actually, probably I think he’s played in every game. But that’s been a leadership void, too, that it’s been nice to have him back.”

 

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI HEAD COACH BARRY ODOM

Opening Statement:

“Good morning. Thank you all for being here today and covering our football team and our football program and our great university. It’s been such an unbelievable week for us in the City of Houston and you know, a lot of – many, many thanks to all the folks, the great hospitality. We’ve had a number of kids from Texas on our roster and from the greater Houston area, and it’s great for them to be home and for us, continuing to build our program. The recruiting emphasis in the State of Texas will be a large part of our footprint moving forward. So for many, many reasons, it was great to be in the City of Houston and in Texas. The bowl game, you really look at the Academy Sports + Outdoors (Texas) Bowl, all of the different things that they have provided for our team and the experiences that they have provided this week for all of our young men and the entire travel party; so grateful and thankful for them. I know it’s a 365-day job for that organization and for them to put on the work and the tireless hours and all of the work that they have put into it for our kids and our student athletes, to have an experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their life, I am forever grateful for all the work that they put into it. The volunteers that over the Christmas holiday and holiday season, that they were away from their families to help make this the experience that it’s been. So thankful for that. And you know, congratulations to Coach (Tom) Herman and his staff and team on being here. Tremendous opportunity and challenge for our football team to match up against a really good football team. Very well-coached, as you start looking at the video when we did after the announcement, should be a great game tomorrow night. We are locked in as a football team and a program. In our small world, it’s Friday, Friday around 11:30. So we’ll get locked into that. We’ll have a walk-through and position meetings as soon as the luncheon is over, get to go to the stadium and have a chance to do a walk-through there which will be great for our guys and then we are into a normal Friday night routine for us. I’m proud of our football team. My staff and the group of guys, 18 seniors that we’ve got, I’m going to address some of the same things in here as I do next door. So if you go to the luncheon, you’ll be bored with my comments. But I believe with great conviction that I’ve got the best job in the world and the reason I have that is because of my team and my football players and the student athletes that we’ve got. I’m thankful for their efforts and all the things that they have done. We’ve learned a number of great life lessons this year together and they have shown great resolve. They have worked together, tremendous effort on holding together when things weren’t great and fighting through adversity and continuing to build our football program the way it needs to be built. I’m thankful for the things that they have done. And now we’ve got an opportunity to go play one more game together and that means the world to me and it means an awful lot to 115 guys that we’ve got that make up our university and the athletic program representing all of the things that this football team has done, we’re excited about it. So open it up to questions and again, thank you all for being here and all the coverage you’ve provided for our football team and this bowl game specifically.”

Does this still feel like a neutral site game to you? How does it affect your outlook on playing a former Big 12 opponent?

“Well, if you’ve covered our team and the local reporters that are here know that I’m not real good with two-part questions, so I may have to ask you to repeat some of that. But I know well enough on where we are geographically on how many people are going to be in the stands and what colors they are going to be wearing. We’ve talked about that. One thing with our program and our team and this group of guys, and every team is different, we deal with each other because we’ve built such true and trusting relationships. We deal in fact and in honesty. We know where the game is. We’re excited to have that opportunity to step into this environment, one of the greatest environments, and to play the game of football – I was at the stadium yesterday watching the Texans play and what an unbelievable environment it will be for our kids. We’ve got to the point over the course of the year that it doesn’t matter if we’re at home, away, playing in the parking lot – our guys are ready to go compete and go play. We had a press conference, or on with the radio show before the Texas game yesterday, Coach (Tom) Herman and I, and as I watched the fans interacting with us on the stage, there weren’t many waving at me. There were a whole bunch waving at him. We’ll take it for what it is. We’ll embrace the opportunity to go play a really good team in this environment.”

Have you decided who is going to be calling offensive plays for you and how does that change the performance on the field with QB Drew Lock getting the calls in his headset and relaying them to your offense?

“Well, on the plays that work, if we happen to have success, offensively, then I called those, okay. I made those play calls. In the college game, you can’t relay. The players don’t wear headsets or microphones. We signal all of our plays in. Our offensive staff has on a tremendous job on continuing to build on what they did during the season. Nothing has really changed as far as the approach on what we’ve taken, on putting our kids in position to be successful; and that’s any time that you go into a game plan, you take the personnel that you’ve got, you’ve got to be a tremendous teacher and then you put in play what you think will put your guys in position to be successful. So the offensive staff has continued to roll on moving in the right direction. Coach (Joe Jon) Finley, who was brought up in this system, will make the play calls tomorrow, and he has for the last couple weeks in practice. They have done — credit to them. They have done a heck of a job on stepping up, and everybody’s got a little more on their plate when you have coaching departures. That’s the name of the game. I wouldn’t say we see any noticeable change as far as what we are doing offensively as far as the play calls go.”

What did you specifically change after your 1-5 start? I’m sure half the coaches in the country want to know.

“I’m going to sell it for $19.99 and if you call now, you can buy one, get one free. We’ll see how that goes in the off-season. Really, we didn’t change much. We’ve got a really good group of kids that were bought in together; that cared about each other; that knew that we were doing a lot of things in our program the right way and we were getting so close to breaking down the wall. We just weren’t playing really good on Saturdays. The things they continue to do, their practice habits were exactly the way we needed them to be. Their preparation was getting close to what it needed to be to put us in position to play successful and then we started to gain some confidence, even though we were coming up short at the end of four quarters, we weren’t scoring enough and we weren’t holding to less points than we needed to. So we were gaining some confidence you know, and like I’ve said earlier, I wouldn’t recommend starting 1-5. That wasn’t really good on anybody, but our guys did enough. They believed and they trusted in the process and in each other to hold together and then we were able to execute a little bit better on the game field.”

Did you really have a bonfire?

“We did. It was big. It was large.”

What all was in the bonfire?

“It’s been well-documented. There was a whole bunch of stuff. I thought the players were going to throw me in there; they had enough of it. Really they drew a line in the sand and they were ready to go win a game. And again, we had done so many really good things within our program. Nobody wants to hear it but it’s important, about your class attendance, the way you work in the weight room, the way your locker loom – the health of your locker room. All those things that add up to having a chance to win a game on Saturday. We were doing all those things. They were moving in the right direction. We just weren’t winning football games, and at the end of the day, it’s a results-driven business. I understand that. Our guys continued to battle and show great resolve and got it done together.”

With all the guys that aren’t playing for Texas, does it make them a tougher scout when you’re watching them on film and certain guys aren’t going to be in the game?

“I think you read, there’s an enormous amount of information out there. I know this – they will have 11 guys out there when we start the game and so will we. You stick true to what you’ve seen on film. There’s always in-game adjustments as you go through. You don’t wait until halftime to make adjustments. You make them between series and a lot of times as the series is going on. So we feel like we’ve done a really good job game planning on who we think that they are and you look at a bowl game, in most of them, you’ve got about 15 opportunities to go through and change some things, either side of the ball, and you know, we’ve made some slight adjustments like we do week-to-week and I’m sure they have done the same thing.”

Specifically at quarterback, Texas Head Coach Tom Herman said both his guys are going to play. What do you see out of either of those guys and similar or does the offense change?

“There are similarities. Anybody that’s playing multiple quarterbacks, you’ve got to prepare, obviously, to see both of them, and I think we will. That’s happened throughout the course of this season and our conference that we’ve seen some of that. You also know that your calls don’t vary too much. You’ve just got to be aware on how you call it with which quarterback’s in. They are both great competitors, and you know, as I watched their – from start to finish on their season, they have improved on the course of the year and they are both really good players.”

What did you see in bowl practices that excites you about your defensive line heading into this game?

“Well, specifically with the defensive line, but overall, our football team, we had 14 really, really good practices. I mean, the guys were eager to get out on the field. They enjoy the opportunity to get better and compete, and they understand the process of what it takes to go play a complete game. We didn’t waste an opportunity. I was happy on really every day we made progress. We made progress of our vets that have been in the program, as far as game planning and executing the game plan out throughout practice. And then when we set aside time to fit in our younger guys and get some developmental work for our program, they approached that the right way. We have got a pretty mature football team, and they did a lot of really good things over the last three and a half weeks.”

What are some examples of what makes QB Drew Lock, Drew Lock?

“Well, I think you look at his approach to the game, his study and desire to be a great quarterback. He’s got a tremendous football IQ. He understands what we’re trying to do offensively. He’s got a good grasp on when we get a certain coverage on where we need to go with the football, or does he check the play and get us into a run option that will help us a little bit more. So all of those things have to do with, No. 1, he’s a tremendous competitor. He wants to be great, and there’s not anybody in our building that has out-worked him in his preparation on trying to lead this football program to wins.”

I’ve seen a lot of national people, in doing their bowl matchups, they look at this game and they seem to be sort of dismissive about your winning streak because of who you beat and how those teams ended up. I’m sure you’ve seen some of that talk, too. Does that get under your skin a little bit? Winning games in the SEC seems legitimate to me but is that –

“If you read a lot that’s been out there this year, and you know, there’s – you could let your mind go a number of different ways. For us, we’ve focused on trying to go 1-0 one more time and it doesn’t matter, like I said earlier, where we’re playing, who we’re playing. Our focus is on us, on making sure we do all the things and the steps necessary to get into the competitive environment and then go play our best game. So we’ve taken – this team serves it pretty well, just to look at it one game at a time, if you’re worried about what we did two weeks ago or three weeks ago or six weeks ago, then that has no effect on how we’re going to play on Wednesday night. And same thing for us, looking ahead, it does us no good. So we’ve got plenty of motivation. We’ve got internal motivation for us to do it for 18 seniors to finish the season the right way, to go 1-0 one more time, and I wouldn’t want to be lined up with another team in America trying to go get that done.”

-END-

Press Release

DENTON RYAN HIGH SCHOOL QUARTERBACK SPENCER SANDERS NAMED 2017 MR. TEXAS FOOTBALL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 18, 2017

HOUSTON – Denton Ryan High School quarterback and future Oklahoma State University Cowboy Spencer Sanders has been named the 2017 Mr. Texas Football winner. Sanders will be honored on field at the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at NRG Stadium, where the University of Texas Longhorns will take on the University of Missouri Tigers.

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.

Sanders, a 6-2, 190-pound dual-threat quarterback, overcame a knee injury suffered in the state semifinals in 2016 to come back stronger than ever, guiding the Raiders to an undefeated season. A three-year starter, Sanders has thrown for more than 3,600 yards and 50 touchdowns — completing more than 66 percent of his passes — while also running for more than 1,200 yards and 14 scores.

In addition to being named Mr. Texas Football, Sanders was recently named the 2017-18 Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year and is now a finalist for the national award, which will be announced later this month. Sanders will continue his football career at Oklahoma State, where he committed to as a junior, when he joins the Cowboys next season.

Former winners of the award include 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (2010 winner, Kerrville Tivy), former Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (2011 winner, Aledo), Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (2007 winner, Lamar Consolidated) and Carolina Panthers quarterback Garrett Gilbert (2008 winner, Lake Travis). Texas A&M freshman wide receiver Roshauud Paul took home the award in 2016.

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 Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year 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 2017 Texas Bowl will be played on Wednesday, 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 University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Missouri Tigers, respectively. Overall, the Texas Bowl has ranked 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.

About the 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 three 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 $1.2 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,700 locations, 12,800 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 266,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2015 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

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Press Release

CORY MORROW TO HIGHLIGHT ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL PREGAME FESTIVITIES AND PERFORM THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017HOUSTON – Texas country star Cory Morrow will perform live on the Bud Light Stage, with special guest Kyle Hutton, at TexFest prior to the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Morrow will also sing the national anthem before the game begins. The pregame festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27 leading up to the 8 p.m. kickoff between the University of Missouri Tigers and the University of Texas Longhorns.

Houston native Cory Morrow is a country singer and songwriter who has become associated with big names, such as Pat Green, Roger Creager and Randy Rogers Band, all while making himself known across the country. With his rollicking, soulful, feel-good Texas country, Morrow has made thousands jump on tabletops, shimmy, scream and suspend worries for almost two decades, like a honky-tonk pied piper – and he shows no signs of stopping. Morrow is currently on tour across Texas performing hits off of his latest studio album, The Good Fight. Joining Morrow on the Bud Light Stage will be country singer and songwriter Kyle Hutton.

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 $2.50 Bud Lights, great food, giveaways, interactive games and team spirit walks. The event is free of charge for all fans with tickets to the game. Over 60,000 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 $37-200. 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.

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 three 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 $1.2 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 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 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); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); 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 (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

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

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

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; @Anna_ESPN

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