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Mississippi State to face Texas Tech in Liberty Bowl

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The Bulldogs will take on the Red Raiders on Dec. 28 at 5:45 p.m. CT.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State football’s 12th consecutive bowl appearance will be a battle against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28 at 5:45 p.m. CT at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Bulldogs will have a chance to avenge its 2021 loss at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium when they lost to Memphis 31-29 on Sept. 18.

Second-year head coach Mike Leach led the Bulldogs to a 7-5 overall record and a 4-4 record in Southeastern Conference games this season. Sophomore quarterback Will Rogers leads the nation in completions and completion percentage and ranks second in passing yardage. Rogers has completed 473 of his 630 passes (75.1%) for 4,449 yards, 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Leach spent 10 seasons as the head coach of Texas Tech, going 84-43. He has led his teams to 18 bowl games in 20 years of coaching.

The Red Raiders (6-6, 3-6 Big 12) are playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2017 and will be led by interim coach Sonny Cumbie after the school fired head coach Matt Wells after a 4-4 start to the season and hired Baylor assistant Joey McGuire to replace Wells.

Texas Tech’s offense ranks 61st in the nation in averaging 408.3 yards per game, while its defense ranks 91st in allowing 410.1 yards per game.

The Bulldogs are 14-10 all time in bowl games and are 7-4 during their current postseason streak. Most recently, the Bulldogs beat No. 22 Tulsa 28-26 in last year’s Armed Forces Bowl. MSU will be playing in the Liberty Bowl for the fifth time in school history, most recently a 44-7 victory over Rice in 2013.

“We’re excited to be headed to a postseason game for the 12th straight year and looking forward to playing in the Liberty Bowl,” Director of Athletics John Cohen said. “To have this opportunity is a credit to the hard work of our coaches, players and support staff, and we look forward to taking the field in front of our loyal Bulldog fans one more time in 2021.”