The Birmingham Bowl has announced that it has invited Texas Tech University to face #23 and Birmingham Bowl defending champion, the University of South Florida Bulls for the 11th edition of this bowl game.
The Bulls have played in this bowl game twice before. Their first appearance, in the inaugural game, resulted in a 24-7 rout of East Carolina in the 2006 Papa John’s Bowl, as it was then known. Last year, they defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks in overtime in the 2017 Birmingham Bowl, a game that featured an impressive late comeback by South Carolina. This third appearance for the Bulls ties Pittsburgh for the most Birmingham Bowl appearances.
The win by USF got them to a program-first 11-2 overall record and a 19th ranking in both major polls, which also had never been achieved before. This year’s Bulls come into the game ranked 23rd by the AP and coaches, with a 9-2 record in a season shortened by one game due to Hurricane Irma. Their two losses came against 7-4 Houston in a last second score and in a heartbreaker to American Conference Champion, #12 / 10 UCF, also in the last seconds of the game.
Texas Tech is making their first trip to the Birmingham Bowl. They finished the 2017 campaign with a disappointing 6-6 (3-6) record, ranking them the 8th team in the Big 12. In three previous games against ranked teams, they lost by an average of 18 points. Those ranked opponents were #2 Oklahoma, #19 / 17 Oklahoma State, and #15 / 13 TCU.
The game, which will be the first between these two programs, will be played in historic Legion’s Field in Birmingham, Alabama, on December 23rd, 2017. Kickoff will be at 11:00 AM CST. More information is available at www.birminghambowl.com. USF fans can purchase tickets at http://usfbullstix.com to be seated in USF sections of the stadium.