Tangerine Bowl Approaching Fast

The Mazda Tangerine Bowl match up with the Texas Tech Red Raiders is now only a few days away. The Tigers have completed their second full day of practice in Orlando, while Tech will not hit the practice fields until after their arrival late Wednesday.

What a difference a year makes.

After dealing with ice cold conditions and the blue turf of Boise, Idaho, the Tigers now find themselves in sunny Orlando, where the temperature is expected to reach into the mid 70's next Monday.

"It's no fun running around with ski hats on and gloves and sweaters trying to make plays, so it's a reward for the players to be down here this year." Tommy Bowden said. "At the same time, we are down here to win the game. You have to make sure the players have fun, but we also know that we have a job to do."

The Red Raiders aren't scheduled to arrive in Orlando until Wednesday, and when they do get there, they'll be without the services of one assistant coach, and three more who will leave the program after the bowl game.

"They're all going to be here for bowl preparation," Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach said. "The only one going earlier is Art Briles our running backs coach."

Manny Matsakis (special teams), Ron Harris (defensive line), and Dave Aranda will be the other three coaches leaving Lubbock. Matsakis was hired to be the head coach at Southwest Texas State, while the other three will be coaching at the University of Houston.

For Clemson, Tommy Bowden won't name a replacement for defensive ends coach Rodney Allison or graduate assistant Justin Watts until after the bowl game.

Interestingly enough, The Sporting News named Tech head coach Mike Leach the Big 12 Coach of the Year after the Radiers defeated in-state rivals Texas and Texas A&M and won 8 games during the regular season.

To no one's surprise, the publication also named Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury Big 12 offensive player of the year. Kingsbury passed for over 4,500 yards this season and was the key ingredient in Tech's sudden resurgence.

"Their quarterback completes a lot of balls and they don't hold anything back, that's for sure. They've been able to do some things on offense that has allowed them to be successful this year," said Bowden.

The first part of the week in Orlando has seen an extensive amount of time on the practice fields and in meeting rooms for the Tigers, in part due to all of the problems that the Red Raiders' offense presents.

"We met last night at 6 and had position meetings. We met this morning after practice. Last night, we got out of position meetings at 8, and I had to call prospects, so there wasn't much free time on my part," said Tommy Bowden.

"There will be more fun time for the players and the families and the wives, but we've got some things scheduled later in the week that the coaches will get to go to- some planned activities after Thursday," Bowden added.

The Tigers will hit the practice fields again on Wednesday morning from 9-11 AM, before taking a trip to Universal Studios at 1 PM. Thursday, the team will keep the same practice schedule and will head out ESPN Club/Disney's Boardwalk at 4 PM.

The Red Raiders are scheduled for a walk through after their arrival Wednesday, before having workouts scheduled at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, at 12:30 PM Thursday, 2 PM Friday and 12:30 PM Saturday.

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