Chick fil-A to scout UT vs. Rebs

ATLANTA (November 11, 2009) – Chick-fil-A Bowl representative Albert Tarica will visit Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. on Saturday to scout the Tennessee-Mississippi game.

The two teams are being scouted as potential representatives in the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

The ACC and SEC team selections for the 42nd edition of the Bowl will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 6. The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the oldest guaranteed ACC vs. SEC match-up in the bowl business.

Tennessee (5-4, 2-3 SEC) is a victory away from the 48th bowl bid in school history (third most among NCAA teams) and first under head coach Lane Kiffin. The Volunteers carry momentum following a pair of home victories against South Carolina and Memphis and have won three of their last four overall. During that stretch, the team has averaged 35.5 points per game. Led by reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year Eric Berry, Tennessee has surrendered four passing touchdowns all season, tied with Florida for fewest in the conference. The Volunteers have appeared four times in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, winning once, and most recently appeared in a 2004 battle with Clemson.

Since two of its wins have come against FCS competition, Ole Miss (6-3, 2-3 SEC) needs to win one of its last three games to gain bowl eligibility. The team is 5-1 at home this season and is currently in the middle of a three-game November homestand. Quarterback Jevan Snead has found a go-to receiver in senior Shay Hodge. Hodge currently sits second in the conference in receiving (81.4 ypg) and posted his second-straight 100-yard game against Northern Arizona last weekend. The Rebels are nearly four decades removed from their lone appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, defeating Georgia Tech in 1971.

Tennessee has won 12 in a row against Ole Miss, including a 27-10 win in Knoxville in the most recent matchup in 2005, and holds a 43-18-1 historical edge. Despite 62 total meetings on the gridiron, Saturday marks only the fourth in the series to take place at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The game kicks off at 12 p.m. (EST) and will be broadcast nationally on CBS.

Tarica will be available for interviews before the game and in the press box during the game. To arrange an interview, please contact Jamie Cwalinski by phone at (404) 586-8546 or e-mail

The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the ACC and SEC. Now in its 42nd year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has established itself as one of the nation's elite bowl games with a string of 12 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Ten of the last 17 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has disbursed more than $90 million in team payouts over its 41-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $1.2 million to organizations in need in 2008 alone.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories