Missouri to play Navy at Texas Bowl - KMOV.com

Missouri to play Navy at Texas Bowl

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Bowl season will again be a homecoming for those 31 Missouri football players who hail from Texas.

For the fourth straight season, the Tigers (8-4) will head to the Lone Star State to play a bowl game. Missouri accepted a bid Sunday to the Texas Bowl on Dec. 31 in Houston, where it will face off against Navy (8-4).

"It'll mean a great deal to get a lot of people coming in to represent me and Mizzou," senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, a native of Jasper, Texas, said. "I'm already in a ticket frenzy. I got people texting me from everywhere. I don't even know half these numbers coming in."

Missouri played in the 2006 Sun Bowl in El Paso as well as the Cotton and Alamo bowls, in Dallas and San Antonio, respectively, in 2008. The Tigers have had plenty of success in postseason games in Texas, winning two of those three and are 4-2 all-time.

"I'm from Marlin, about three hours away," senior wide receiver Danario Alexander said. "It will be exciting playing at Reliant Stadium in front of all 6,000 people from my city."

The Texas Bowl had the final selection of teams from the Big 12, and once the Insight Bowl passed over Missouri for Iowa State (6-6), the faceoff with Navy was set.

The Insight Bowl selected Iowa State despite the fact that the Tigers own a better record and defeated the Cyclones 34-24 on Nov. 21, but Missouri coach Gary Pinkel remained positive about the team's bowl situation.

"We're excited about playing in Houston," Pinkel said. "We're excited that it's on national TV, it's in a recruiting area for us, it's a huge alumni base. So in many, many ways, this works very well for us."

Weatherspoon was also upbeat.

"This bowl gives us a lot of advantages," Weatherspoon said. "If we had been playing in Arizona we might not get a lot of family out there. I'm definitely excited to get the opportunity to go back to Texas and play in front of a home crowd."

The bowl bid also marks the first time in school history that the Tigers have made five consecutive bowl appearances.

Missouri is 2-0 all-time against Navy, with the last meeting in 1961 at the Orange Bowl, where the Tigers defeated the Midshipmen 21-14 to cap off an 11-0 season.

The Texas Bowl kicks off at 3:30 EST and will be televised on ESPN.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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