Mississippi State (7-5) will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-6) in this year's Liberty Bowl, meaning that Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach will be taking on his former team.
It's been an up-and-down season for Texas Tech as the program is on its second head coach this year, former Baylor Bears assistant Joey McGuire who was hired in November, after firing Matt Wells in late October. Wells had been with the team for two years. Leach's former quarterback Sonny Cumbie was named the
Outside of the coaching change, the Red Raiders have had to deal with more adversity, losing starting quarterback Tyler Shough to injury in just the fourth game of the season. While Texas Tech has had some bright spots offensively despite Shough's injury, the Red Raiders have struggled on defense and lost four of their last five games this season and should be considered a definite underdog as they just barely achieved bowl eligibility.
The Bulldogs look like the stronger team in all three phases of the game here, losing all but two of their five losses by a margin of three points or less. Rather than stumble through the second half of the season as Texas Tech did, Mississippi State hit its stride as multiple offensive players like wide receiver Malik Heath, Christian Ford and Rara Thomas became impact-makers and quarterback Will Rogers continued to add to the record books.
The matchup between the Bulldogs and the Red Raiders will be played on Dec. 28 at Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memph. Kickoff is set for 5:45 p.m. CT.