Wildcats To Play In Inaugural TicketCity Bowl

The Northwestern football program will, again, welcome in the new year with a bowl game. On Sunday, the Wildcats accepted a bid to play in the inaugural TicketCity Bowl at the Cotton Bowl, in Dallas, TX.

"When I told the team tonight we were going (to the TicketCity Bowl), they were ecstatic," said Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "Another opportunity for us to compete on Jan. 1. As Jim (Phillips) alluded to, we get the first game in college football in 2011. If history has anything to do with it, the last Jan. 1 game we were in was pretty exciting."

The Wildcats (7-5) will face Texas Tech (7-5) from the Big 12 conference. The Red Raiders won their last two games of the season, to become bowl eligible for the 11th-consecutive season.

Northwestern's last two bowl appearances have been thrillers. In 2008, the Wildcats lost in overtime to Missouri in the Alamo Bowl, and on New Year's Day of 2010, the Cats fell in an overtime thriller to Auburn in the Outback Bowl. In his press conference, Fitzgerald acknowledged the importance of winning a bowl game after two-straight bowl losses.

"It's a similar opportunity, absolutely," Fitzgerald said. "It's a lone negative, I guess, that you can say about our program and our guys are working to improve and get better on the field. I think that's definitely a monkey we want to get off our backs."

The trip to Dallas won't be the Wildcat's first Texas trip of the season. NU played Rice in Houston, TX.

Fitzgerald admitted he's very excited to return to Texas, and play in the historic Cotton Bowl stadium.

"It should be a great atmosphere. We've got a lot of alumni in that area, you saw 8-10,000 in that game at Rice so we'll travel well like we have the last two years. That's what's been so fun for me, we've gone to some special venues and this is another special venue we have the chance to play in."

The game is set for 11:00 CT, on January 1st, and can be seen on ESPNU.


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