Rice and Western Michigan Face off in Third Annual Texas Bowl Exclusively on NFL Network Dec. 30 at 8:00 PM ET
NFL Network will televise the third annual Texas Bowl featuring a matchup between the Rice University Owls (9-3) and the Western Michigan Broncos (9-3) live in high-definition from Reliant Stadium in Houston Tuesday, December 30 at 8:00 PM ET.
NFL Network’s Fran Charles has the call, alongside Tom Waddle in the booth and Kara Henderson on the sidelines.
The Texas Bowl is the first of two live games airing on back-to-back nights on NFL Network. The Insight Bowl featuring Kansas vs. Minnesota follows in high-definition on New Year’s Eve at 6:00 PM ET. The Texas Bowl also marks the first meeting ever between the two schools and is one of only five non-BCS bowl games to match two nine-win teams.
Rice University brings a 9-3 record to Houston, including a 7-1 mark in Conference USA. Owls head coach David Bailiff is in his second season at the helm and leads Rice to its second bowl appearance in three seasons.
The Owls boast an impressive offensive attack that ranks in the top 10 nationally among three offensive categories. Standout QB Chase Clement, WR Jarrett Dillard and TE James Casey anchor Rice’s offensive that ranks fifth in passing (327.8 yards/game), eighth in scoring (41.6 points/game) and 10th in total offense (472.3 yards/game).
Western Michigan also has one of the nation’s top offenses, ranking 10th in passing (301.2 yards/game). Broncos QB Tim Hiller ranks 14th in the nation in total offense, while WR Jamarko Simmons holds the third spot nationwide in receptions (8.17 per game). 2008 marks the Broncos fourth bowl appearance all-time and second under head coach Bill Cubit.
The game will be televised locally in Western Michigan’s home market of Grand Rapids, MI on WXMI FOX-17.
This is the third year NFL Network has had the exclusive rights to the Texas Bowl. The 2008 Texas Bowl is part of NFL Network’s college football and Path to the Draft programming which includes College Football Now, the Insight Bowl, the Under Armour Senior Bowl and the 2009 Scouting Combine. Live pick-by-pick coverage of the 2009 NFL Draft airs April 25-26 on NFL Network. Earlier this season, NFL Network aired the Circle City Classic between Tuskegee and Alabama A&M.