Red Raiders Look Forward to Holiday Bowl

The Red Raiders were all smiles Sunday night after accepting a invitation to play in the National University Holiday Bowl against No. 16 Arizona State on Dec. 30 in San Diego. The trip west will be a homecoming for a handful of players including senior linebacker Will Smith.

The announcement came Sunday stating Texas Tech will play in the National University Holiday Bowl against the No.14 Arizona State Sun Devils.

"Excited to be qualified for a bowl," Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "I think going to a great city like San Diego is going to be fun for our entire team. I know the guys are all pumped about it and we have a great opponent to play, so it's an exciting way to end the year."

Texas Tech has played in the Holiday Bowl just once in program history. The Red Raiders blew away the California Golden Bears, who entered the game ranked fourth in the nation. Current Texas Tech co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, who played quarterback for the Red Raiders, finished the game 39-60 for 520 yards and three touchdowns. Cumbie was named the Most Valuable Player.

Coach Kingsbury mentioned Cumbie's performance when asked about the history of the Holiday Bowl.

"I don't know too much about it other than one of our staff members had a heck of a game out there I know as far as Texas Tech goes," Kingsbury said. "So, I know Coach Cumbie will be fired up to be a part of this."

This bowl game will be particularly special for four seniors who come from California. Senior linebacker Will Smith said playing in Qualcomm Stadium will be surreal for him.

"I think the last time I went I was probably 14 or something like that," Smith flashbacked. "I was always wanting to play out there and now it's finally coming true, so I'm pretty excited about that."

Tech lists six Californians on their roster. Junior defensive back Dorian Crawford is the only player who lists his hometown as San Diego. Junior wide receiver Bradley Marquez is excited for a new experience.

"We're excited to have a new experience for the guys. Houston was a great bowl last year, but just being able to experience another city, you know playing in another stadium and playing a team from the Pac 12 is big for us and we're excited for it."

The game will be played in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on December 30. Kickoff is set for 9:15 p.m. central time.

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