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Cal Football

Cal To Face Texas Tech In Independence Bowl

December 3, 2023
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BERKELEY - Following a three-game-win streak to close the regular season, the California football team has accepted an invitation to play in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl on Dec. 16 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Golden Bears (6-6) will meet Texas Tech (6-6) from the Big 12 Conference. The game will air on ESPN and begins at 6:15 p.m. PST.

"We would like to thank the Independence Bowl for selecting us," Travers Family Head Football Coach Justin Wilcox said. "Our team finished the regular season strong to earn this selection and is excited to have the opportunity to play one more football game together."

Season ticket holders can currently make deposits by logging into their accounts on CalBears.com. Tickets for the general public go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at CalBears.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.

The Bears were last bowl-eligible in 2019 when they defeated Illinois in the Redbox Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. It will mark the third time Wilcox has led Cal to a bowl game, and it's the 25th bowl appearance in program history. Cal is 12-11-1 all-time in bowl games.

The Bears and Red Raiders have faced off one other time in a bowl game, and it's the only all-time meeting between the teams. Texas Tech defeated Cal 45-31 at the 2004 Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

Cal is led by star running back Jaydn Ott, who won the regular season Pac-12 rushing title with 1,260 yards on the ground to go along with 11 touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Fernando Mendoza has been a revelation at quarterback since earning the starting job halfway through the season. He's completed 62.4% of his passes for 1,447 yards and 13 touchdowns over eight games played, including starts in the last seven contests. He was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after leading the Bears to a 27-15 win over Stanford in the 126th Big Game.

The Bears have had a knack for big plays on defense, tying for the nation's lead in fumbles recovered (14) and ranking tied for second in turnovers gained (25). Cal also has three defensive touchdowns to rank tied for 13th nationally. The Bears' defense is anchored by freshman inside linebacker Cade Uluave, who was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week two of the final three weeks of the regular season. Edge rusher David Reese has surged lately, recording 5.5 sacks over the final three games and earning Bednarik National Defensive Player of the Week honors after Cal's regular-season finale at UCLA.

Cal rebounded from a challenging stretch of the season in which it faced a school-record four nationally ranked teams in a row. After sitting at 3-6 following a loss at No. 6 Oregon, the Bears reeled off victories over Washington State, Stanford and UCLA to finish the regular season.

Texas Tech, which also won three November games to become bowl-eligible, is led by All-Big 12 First Team running back Tahj Brooks, who ranks third nationally in rushing yards (1,443) and rushing yards per game (120.3). Linebacker Ben Roberts was named the Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year and punter Austin McNamara was picked as the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.

The Bears' first bowl game was the 1921 Rose Bowl, where they beat Ohio State 28-0.
 
Cal Bowl History (12-11-1)
Date – Bowl – Result
Jan. 1, 1921 – Rose Bowl – Cal 28, Ohio State 0
Jan. 1, 1922 – Rose Bowl – Cal 0, Washington & Jefferson 0
Jan. 1, 1929 – Rose Bowl – Georgia Tech 8, Cal 7
Jan. 1, 1938 – Rose Bowl – Cal 13, Alabama 0
Jan. 1, 1949 – Rose Bowl – Northwestern 20, Cal 14
Jan. 2, 1950 – Rose Bowl – Ohio State 17, Cal 14
Jan. 1, 1951 – Rose Bowl – Michigan 14, Cal 6
Jan. 1, 1959 – Rose Bowl – Iowa 38, Cal 12
Dec. 15, 1979 – Garden State Bowl – Temple 28, Cal 17
Dec. 31, 1990 – Copper Bowl – Cal 17, Wyoming 15
Jan. 1, 1992 – Citrus Bowl – Cal 37, Clemson 13
Dec. 31, 1993 – Alamo Bowl – Cal 37, Iowa 3
Dec. 25, 1996 – Aloha Bowl – Navy 42, Cal 38
Dec. 26, 2003 – Insight Bowl – Cal 52, Virginia Tech 49
Dec. 30, 2004 – Holiday Bowl – Texas Tech 45, Cal 31
Dec. 22, 2005 – Las Vegas Bowl – Cal 35, BYU 28
Dec. 28, 2006 – Holiday Bowl – Cal 45, Texas A&M 10
Dec. 31, 2007 – Armed Forces Bowl – Cal 42, Air Force 36
Dec. 27, 2008 – Emerald Bowl – Cal 24, Miami (Fla.) 17
Dec. 23, 2009 – Poinsettia Bowl – Utah 37, Cal 27
Dec. 28, 2011 – Holiday Bowl – Texas 21, Cal 10
Dec. 29, 2015 – Armed Forces Bowl – Cal 55, Air Force 36
Dec. 26, 2018 – Cheez-It Bowl – TCU 10, Cal 7 (OT)
Dec. 30, 2019 -  Redbox Bowl – Cal 35, Illinois 20

Discussion from...

Cal To Face Texas Tech In Independence Bowl

2,604 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by 75bear
BellowingBerkeleyBear
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Shreveport seems like a fairly challenging place to get to. From what I was seeing, SW doesn't fly there and American, Delta, and United all use small regional jets to connect out of Denver, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta. So not sure how easy it would be to get a crowd there of 10,000 Cal fans in what is a 50,000 seat stadium. Don't know the cost of chartering flights. But maybe a 757 or 767 running two flights on the Thursday and Friday before nonstop. Assuming the airport there can handle those type of jets! Anyway, just was curious and looked around. Retired to Portugal now and already was back in Berkeley for WSU and Big Game, some VB, and MBB/WBB and stopping by for 10 days in early January for some MBB/WBB games on my way to Asia and picking up remaining personal items on way back....and going to Vegas for last Pac-12 WBB tournament in March so not up for another trip. Hope all who want to go can find a reasonable flight there. I guess flying nonstop into DFW and driving is another option and avoids any winter connection issues.
75bear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Yeah, flying into Dallas probably makes the most sense.
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