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December 2, 2012

Tech accepts bowl invitation

Texas Tech accepted an invitation to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

The 7-5 Red Raiders will play Minnesota (6-6, 2-6 in the Big Ten Conference) on Dec. 28 at 8 p.m. ESPN will broadcast the game nationwide.

"We're looking forward to going to Houston," Tech head coach [db]Tommy Tuberville[/db] said. "I think it will be a great bowl game for both Texas Tech and Minnesota. We're excited about being back in a bowl game and coming to a place where we have a lot of players from our team and a lot of alumni. We're excited about the prospect of practicing and getting our young guys better."

The game is a rematch of the 2006 Insight Bowl which featured the biggest comeback in bowl history in a 44-41 Tech overtime win after Minnesota blew what was once a 31-point lead early in the third quarter.

Neither Tuberville nor Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill were around their respective programs at that time.

Then-Minnesota head coach Glen Mason was fired shortly after the game to end a nine-year career in Minneapolis. That led to the Golden Gophers hiring Tim Brewster who was subsequently fired midseason in 2010.

Kill, a friend of Tuberville's from the coaching clinics circuit, was hired from Northern Illinois in 2011 and is making his first bowl game appearance against the Red Raiders.

Minnesota has not been in a bowl game since 2009. Tech missed out on a bowl last season.

The Red Raiders may get some injured players back considering the month-plus layover between the Baylor game and the bowl game in Houston. Most notably, tight end [db]Jace Amaro[/db] has been cleared for "additional activities" and could very well return for the Minnesota game.

"He has to be cleared by the doctors," Tuberville said. "He was obviously one of our better offensive players during the year. He's a weapon. But we're not going to play anybody that's not 100 percent healthy so we'll have to wait and see in the next couple of weeks."

Tech most recently played a postseason bowl game in Houston in 2003 when a B.J. Symons led team defeated Navy, 38-14, at the end of the 2003 season. As a Southwest Conference member, the Red Raiders dropped a 27-24 game to Nebraska in the 1976 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.

Minnesota notched wins against UNLV, New Hampshire, Western Michigan, Syracuse, Purdue and Illinois to become bowl eligible.


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