Nov. 25, 2007
HOUSTON, Texas - For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the University of Houston will go "bowling," this time staying at home and playing in the Texas Bowl, as it was announced today. The Texas Bowl is set for Reliant Stadium on Friday, Dec. 28, against an unknown opponent. The game time is set for 7 pm on the NFL Network.
The Cougars finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, marking the first time since 1989-90 that Houston has recorded back-to-back winning seasons. The bowl success of four in five years hasn't been seen at Houston since the 1978-81 seasons, when the Cougars played in four consecutive bowl games.
"We are extremely excited about being selected to the Texas Bowl," commented UH Director of Athletics Dave Maggard. "This will give our fans the chance to stay at home and watch us play in a very good bowl game. We expect a good crowd.
"It is great to be right here in Houston in front of our hometown fans."
UH head coach Art Briles also expressed pleasure in reaching a bowl game once again.
"Any time you get into a bowl game, it is extremely exciting for you players and program," said the 2006 C-USA Coach of the Year. "It is extra meaningful for us in that we get to play in the Texas Bowl in our hometown, giving our fans, our students and our alumni an opportunity to watch us play.
"Our main objective is winning a bowl game. Our focus over the next four weeks will be to accomplish that goal."
The Cougars are no strangers to playing bowl games in Houston. When the Bluebonnet Bowl was staged in the Astrodome in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the Cougars played four times within a six-year span, posting a 2-1-1 record in front of the home fans. In 1969, the Cougars defeated Auburn, 36-7, and in 1973, Houston downed future C-USA opponent, Tulane, 47-7. In 1974, the Cougars forged a 31-31 tie with North Carolina State. UH's only loss was a 29-17 defeat to Colorado in 1971.
Overall, the Cougars are 7-9-1 in bowl games. Houston's first bowl appearance was a 26-21 win over Dayton in the 1952 Salad Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz. Its last bowl appearance was last season, a thrilling 44-36 loss to South Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.
While competing in the post season is always exciting for the team and fans, both Briles and Maggard admitted it's a goal for the program every season.
"I think our expectations are that we go to a bowl every year," added Maggard. "(Accepting a bid to the Texas Bowl) is keeping in line with that line of thinking and is very positive for our program.
"Even though we are not playing in the C-USA Championship Game, (playing in the Texas) is the next best thing. We feel very good about being here."
Tickets are on sale by logging online at www.UHCougars.com. All UH alumni and fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets through the University of Houston.