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’Dogs Bowl Bound: Tech will battle Illinois in the Heart of Dallas Bowl

December 19, 2014

 

zaxbys-hod-bowl-eventCATHERINE BURKE
Staff Reporter

 

After an 8-5 season, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs received a bid to the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas. The Bulldogs will face the Illinois Fighting Illini on Dec. 26.

 

Tommy McClelland, Tech director of athletics, said this bowl bid is huge all around.

 

“Being in the bowl lineup brings positive attention to all parts of our university,” McClelland said. “Our student enrollment from the Dallas area is currently growing, and playing the bowl game there will really help keep our name over in that area.”

 

McClelland said the marketing staff has a specific goal for the game.

 

“All year we have been pushing the phrase ‘This is Bulldog Country,’ so our marketing staff decided to take it to the next level,” he said. “We have a goal to sell at least one ticket in all fifty states so we can truly say that this is Bulldog Country.”

 

Trent Taylor, sophomore wide receiver, said the bowl game is a chance for redemption.

 

“After a devastating loss in the conference championship game, it’s good we have a chance to redeem ourselves against a strong opponent like Illinois,” Taylor said. “Illinois is tough coming from the Big 10 and we will definitely have to come prepared for a full four quarter battle.”

 

Taylor said he is very lucky to be a part of this team.

 

“I feel like this team has put in all the work this past offseason and it is great to see it all pay off at the end of the regular season,” he said.

 

Taylor said the season overall has been an interesting one.

 

“We have had great wins throughout the season but also some very unexpected losses,” he said. “Those losses have helped us grow as a team.”

 

McClelland said this season is a true testament to head football coach Skip Holtz, his staff and the players.

 

“With a new coach comes adjustments, challenges and trials,” McClelland said. “From being 4-8 last year to completely flipping that record around, I couldn’t be more proud of this program.”

 

Tickets became available to students for $20  at 7 a.m. Dec. 8 and Jessi Fitts was in line and ready to purchase.

 

“I got there at about 6:45 a.m. and there were about 40 people there,” said Fitts, a senior psychology major. “It’s great this game gives the students something to come together for and support with alumni and the city of Ruston.”

 

McClelland said tickets are still available for the bowl game for $75 and student tickets are still available.

 

“We actually sold over 1,000 tickets the first day,” he said. “I hope for several thousand in attendance for the game.”

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, fans can call the Tech ticket office at (318) 257-3631 or go to latechsports.com.

 

For more on Tech athletics, follow the Tech Talk Sports Desk’s Twitter page at twitter.com/techtalksports.

 

Email comments to cjb066@latech.edu.

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