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Press Release

2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff: BYU vs. LSU Relocated to Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans

Game Remains on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8:30 p.m. CT

Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey to Houston and the surrounding areas, the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff between BYU and LSU, originally scheduled to be played in NRG Stadium in Houston, has been relocated to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. The game will still be played on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT and televised on ESPN.

“First and foremost, we are keeping the citizens of the Houston region, and the thousands of first responders, in our thoughts during this very difficult time,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and events. “Over the last 72 hours, we have been in constant contact with all entities involved, including our partners at the Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, the SEC and both institutions. Ultimately, the decision was made to move forward with the relocation.

“During the last few days, we were overwhelmed with the outreach by the communities offering to host this event, specifically, Dallas, Jacksonville, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando and San Antonio.  We have great partners within those cities through the Football Bowl Association and we appreciate their energy in finding a solution.

“Efforts are underway in New Orleans and we will work with the fans, the Superdome, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and both schools throughout the week to ensure the most optimal game day experience for all.”

Ticket information, updates and additional detail will be forthcoming and made available at http://www.advocaretexaskickoff.com/.

Press Release

TEXAS BOWL GRIDIRON LEGENDS CLASS OF 2017 ANNOUNCED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 14, 2017

HOUSTON – The Texas Bowl Committee has selected the 2017 Class of Gridiron Legends, the Bowl announced today. All five honorees will be introduced at the 2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game on September 2 and will be inducted to the Gridiron Legends at a special pregame ceremony during the Texas Bowl game at NRG Stadium on December 27.

The class of 2017 features three-time Super Bowl Champion Cliff Branch, former Texas Bowl MVP and first Texas Bowl participant to be recognized as a Gridiron Legend Chase Clement, College Football Hall of Fame member and former Baylor standout Lawrence Elkins, two-time Super Bowl Champion Casey Hampton and esteemed coach Emory Bellard, who hailed from Luling, Texas.

The Gridiron Legends have each made a noteworthy contribution to the game of football in the state of Texas at the high school, collegiate or professional level. The 2017 class joins 64 other Gridiron Legends who have been inducted since the Bowl’s inception in 2006, including Texas greats Jim Nantz, Curley Culp, Bum Phillips, Joe Greene, Earl Campbell, Andre Ware, John David Crow, Jack Pardee and Dave Campbell.

Four-time All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl Champion Cliff Branch spent 14 seasons in the NFL, all with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. The former Worthing High School standout graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1972, where he set the NCAA FBS record for kickoffs returned for touchdowns with eight. During his time at Colorado, Branch also set school and NCAA Championship records in track, specifically the NCAA 100-meter record with a time of 10.0 seconds. The Raiders selected the Houston native in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft with the 98th overall pick. During his tenure, Branch caught three passes for 20 yards in Super Bowl XI, five passes for 62 yards and two touchdowns in Super Bowl XV and six passes for 94 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl XVIII. In four consecutive seasons (1974-1977), the former wide receiver was voted a First-Team All-Pro by the Associated Press and named to four consecutive Pro Bowls. In 1974, Branch led the league in receiving yards (1,092) and receiving touchdowns (13). During the 1983 season, he set the Raiders franchise record for the longest touchdown reception with a 99-yard score. Branch’s career in the NFL ended after the 1985 season, but he subsequently played for the Los Angeles Cobras of the AFL in 1988. Branch was the only wide receiver to be on the roster of all three Super Bowl-winning Raiders teams and was named to the PFRA Hall of Very Good Class of 2011. The two-time Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist’s NFL career boasts 501 receptions, 8,685 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns.

UFL Championship MVP Chase Clement spent three seasons in the UFL and had two separate stints in the CFL after a record-setting career at Rice University. The former quarterback holds the NCAA FBS record, along with former Rice wide receiver Jarrett Dillard, for career touchdowns between a quarterback-receiver tandem (51). The San Antonio native broke Conference USA Conference passing records, and in 2007, he earned second-team All-Conference USA honors. In his first-team all-conference senior season, Clement lead the Owls to a win in the 2008 Texas Bowl, where he was named MVP, and earned the C-USA MVP honors. The Rice University all-time passing leader is ranked second behind Case Keenum on the C-USA lists for career touchdowns and touchdown passes. Clement completed his college career with 125 career touchdowns, and his 99 passing touchdowns tied former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart on the NCAA career touchdown passes list. While a prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft, he went undrafted and was signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in June 2009 and retired after one preseason practice. The Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL later signed Clement in 2010, and he stayed with them until 2012. During his time there, he led the team to the UFL title in 2010 and was named the championship game MVP. Clement signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in April 2013 and was later released the following June. During his post-collegiate career, he has worked out with several NFL teams including the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.

Former first-round draft pick and wide receiver Lawrence “Larry” Elkins’ professional career spanned five years after a highly accomplished tenure at Baylor University. The three-sport All-State player at Brownwood High School turned down an offer from the University of Texas to attend Baylor, where he set several receiving records that still stand. Elkins was a two-time consensus All-American at Baylor – the first two-time consensus pick in the university’s history. One of the best receivers in Baylor’s history, he caught 144 passes for 2,094 yards and scored a school-record 19 touchdowns. Some of Elkins’ accolades include MVP honors at the 1965 Hula Bowl and being named to the Look Magazine All-American team. The records he set include ranking third in all-time career receptions and career receiving yards, Baylor’s single-game record for receptions (12) and the NCAA single-season record in 1963 with 70 catches. Elkins was a first-round pick in the 1965 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers as well as a first-round pick in the AFL Draft by the Houston Oilers the same year. After signing with the Oilers, a knee injury in an exhibition game in his rookie season kept Elkins off the active roster until 1966. Following his time with the Oilers, he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he broke his collarbone in a preseason game in 1969 after earning a starting job with the team. Elkins’ football career has been recognized and honored by many, which is evident by his induction into the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame (1976), the College Football Hall of Fame (1994) and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame (2009). His life post-football managed to be as interesting as his time in football. From 1971 to 1978, Elkins worked for Brown and Root Inc., now known as KBR, Inc., in the United States and Europe. From 1979 to 1982, he worked with offshore drilling companies in the Gulf of Mexico and Africa. In the early 1980s, Elkins chauffeured Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall around Texas as he studied Texas accents for the film Tender Mercies and television miniseries Lonesome Dove. He later spent more than 12 years as a consultant for Ministry of Water in Saudi Arabia, where he was involved in the management of 26 desalination plants and several pumping stations and pipelines along the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

Two-time Super Bowl Champion Casey Hampton spent 12 seasons in the NFL, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former nose tackle got his start at Galveston Ball High School, where he was a two-sport All-American in football and track. Hampton was twice named the District Defensive Player of the Year and was a Texas Class 5A All-State First-Team selection. His high school jersey number (No. 63) was retired at a parade and dinner in April 2009, and he is the only football player in Galveston Ball’s history to receive this honor. Hampton went on to have an impressive collegiate career at the University of Texas, where he started in 37 consecutive games for the Longhorns from 1997 to 2000. During his time at UT, he became the first defensive lineman to lead the team in tackles in two consecutive seasons (1999-2000). Hampton recorded 329 career tackles, which placed him 11th on the school’s all-time list. The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Conference Coaches (2000) was also a two-time consensus All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection. Hampton was a first-round pick, 19th overall, in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played in all 48 games in his first three seasons and took a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2003. A knee injury six games into the 2004 season kept him out for the remainder of the season, but he came back to win Super Bowl XL and XLIII with the Steelers. During Super Bowl XL, Hampton sacked Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, sealing the game for Pittsburgh. During his professional career, the five-time All Pro played in 173 games with 374 combined tackles, 9.0 sacks, three passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles. In commemoration of the Steelers’ founding in 1933, the franchise’s top 33 players were selected by fan voting to the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team. Hampton was named to the group as a part of the franchise’s 75th season celebration in 2007.

Deemed to have had one of the most advanced offensive minds in football, notable head coach Emory Bellard was selected by the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association to receive this Gridiron Legend honor. The Luling, Texas native is credited for inventing the Wishbone Offense, regarded as the most dynamic and groundbreaking offensive schemes in college football during the 1970s and 1980s. Bellard was a running back at the University of Texas his freshman year, but broke his leg the next season. Due to his injury and the return of players from World War II, he transferred to Southwest Texas State, which is now Texas State University. His tenure of 21 seasons as a head coach started at Ingleside High School in Ingleside, Texas, where he coached from 1952 to 1954. Bellard then moved on to Breckenridge High School, a powerhouse in the state in the second-highest UIL classification. During his time there from 1955 to 1959, he led the team to two state championships (1958, 1959). Bellard won another state championship in 1966 during his tenure at San Angelo Central High School, which spanned from 1960 to 1966. After an impressive high school coaching career, he made the jump to the collegiate level where he also succeeded. Bellard was hired as linebackers coach for the University of Texas in 1967. From 1968 to 1971, Bellard was their offensive coordinator, and during this time established and applied the wishbone formation. This system, also known as the triple-option, helped the Longhorns win 30 games in a row and a national championship in 1969. Other teams, such as powerhouses Alabama and Oklahoma, began adopting the wishbone offense. From 1969 to 1979, seven national championships were won or shared by teams that implemented this scheme. Bellard left the Longhorns to become Texas A&M’s head coach from 1972 to 1978. He led the Aggies to a 48-27 record during his tenure, which included three top-15 finishes and three consecutive bowl games. He resigned midway through the 1978 season and then became the head coach at Mississippi State in 1979, where he stayed until 1985. Bellard led the Bulldogs to a record of 79-85 and they twice finished in the top 20 in the polls. After his time at Mississippi State, he returned to the high school level, where he coached Spring Westfield High School from 1988 to 1993, making his overall high school coaching record 177-59-9. Bellard passed away on February 10, 2011 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and his son, Bob, who coaches high school football in Texas. His family will receive the honor in his name.

The 2017 Texas Bowl will feature teams from the Big 12 and SEC conferences and will kick off at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The game, which has ranked fourth in bowl game attendance in the country behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls since 2014, will air nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio with a local radio broadcast on Sports Radio 610 (KILT-AM).

Limited tickets remain for the 2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game featuring the Louisiana State University Tigers and the Brigham Young University Cougars and can be purchases through the website at http://www.advocaretexaskickoff.com/.

CONTACTS:
Allie LeClair
(832) 667-2050
allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

Chloe Delclos
(832) 667-2085
chloe.delclos@houstontexans.com

Press Release

TEXAS TECH & OLE MISS TO PLAY OPENING WEEKEND IN THE ADVOCARE TEXAS KICKOFF GAME AT NRG STADIUM IN 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 23, 2017

The Texas Tech University Red Raiders and the University of Mississippi Rebels will open the 2018 season in the sixth installment of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The game will be the sixth matchup in the all-time series between the schools.

Louisiana State University will take on Brigham Young University on Sept. 2 to start the 2017 season, and this will mark the first ever meeting between the schools. The LSU Tigers finished the 2016 season 8-4, while the BYU Cougars finished 9-4.

“The AdvoCare Texas Kickoff has become a premier Labor Day weekend college football tradition,” said General Manager of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment David Fletcher. “We look forward to welcoming the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Ole Miss Rebels and their respective passionate fan bases to NRG Stadium in Houston for the 2018 edition of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, signifying the start of the college football season.”

Ole Miss owns a 3-2 record against Texas Tech. The two teams first met in 1986 with their most recent meeting in the 2009 Cotton Bowl where the Rebels beat the Red Raiders 47-34.

Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze is entering his sixth season and coming off the 2016 season with a record of 5-7. In 2014, Freeze led the Rebels to one of their strongest seasons in four decades, finishing 9-3 and spending most of the season in the top 10. During his tenure, the Rebels have maintained a 39-25 record and have competed in four bowl games with three wins.

“We are excited to be part of this great event and play a tradition rich opponent like Texas Tech,” said Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork. “In our scheduling process, we seek out marquee matchups at premier venues, and this is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our program on a grand stage. Houston and the state of Texas have become quite the hot bed for Rebel Nation, and we know our fans will continue our stellar reputation of supporting our team and filling up NRG Stadium.”

Texas Tech Head Coach, and former team quarterback, Kliff Kingsbury is entering his fifth season and coming off the 2016 season with a 5-7 record. During his first season, he became the first Big 12 coach to start his career 7-0. Kingsbury, the third-youngest head coach in college football, holds a record of 24-26, including one bowl game win and one bowl game loss, with the Red Raiders.

“We’re excited to return to Houston and take part in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff,” said Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt. “The support of Red Raider Nation helped set a new Texas Bowl attendance record in our last trip to Houston, so we look forward to NRG Stadium being filled with scarlet and black once again to kick off the 2018 season.”

The game will mark the sixth year of a recently extended four-year extension, through 2020, between Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, to bring a top college football game to NRG Stadium during the Labor Day weekend to start the college football season.

“We are very pleased to showcase these two outstanding programs in the 2018 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game,” said Senior Vice President of College Sports Programming and Events Pete Derzis. “Both schools have dedicated alumni and engaged fan bases and the expectation is a great crowd on hand for the Kickoff matchup.”

For more information on ticket packages for the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, log on to www.advocaretexaskickoff.com. For information on luxury suites call 832-667-2160.

ESPNEvents
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Marmot Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Orlando, Fla.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (TBD); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan) and State Farm Champions Classic (New York City)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

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Media Contacts:         

ESPN Events – Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; Derek.Volner@ESPN.com and @DerekVolner
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff – Allie LeClair at 832-667-2050; allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

Press Release

ESPN OPENS THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WITH THE SPORT`S BEST SCHEDULE

  • ABC’s Saturday Night Football Must-See First Three Weeks:
    • 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Alabama
    • 8 Oklahoma at No. 1 Ohio State
    • 15 Miami at No. 2 Florida State 
  • Five-Day Week 1 Slate:
    • Big Ten’s Best Teams – No. 1 Ohio State, No. 5 Penn State, No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 14 Michigan
    • Defending National Champion, No. 7 Clemson Tigers
    • Non-Conference Top 25 Showdowns: ACC vs. Big 12 and Big Ten vs. SEC
    • ABC’s Sunday Night Prime Time Game; ESPN’s Labor Day Night Game

ESPN opens the 2017 college football season with the best schedule of any network, a five-day slate (Aug. 31- Sept. 4) featuring No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Alabama, the Big Ten’s best teams — including No. 1 Ohio State and No. 5 Penn State, the defending College Football Playoff National Champion No. 7 Clemson Tigers and top 25, non-conference showdowns: ACC vs. Big 12 and Big Ten vs. SEC. The opening weekend slate sets the table for ESPN’s season schedule, which is loaded with high-stake games from all 10 FBS conferences.

“Our opening week schedule demonstrates ESPN’s leading position in college football,” said Nick Dawson, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions. “The marquee games and teams we air over Labor Day weekend begin a season-long campaign where ESPN will have the deepest schedule featuring the nation’s best teams, all culminating with exclusive coverage of the College Football Playoff.”

ABC’s Saturday Night Football First Three Weeks
ABC’s Saturday Night Football2016’s most-watched college football franchise on any network – begins 2017 with must-see matchups in the season’s first three weeks featuring top-ranked blue bloods, including two straight non-conference top 10 matchups and one of college football’s longest in-state rivalries.

The first 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Alabama (Sept. 2 at 8 p.m.), the most-anticipated matchup of the season’s opening week, opens the 12th season of ABC’s Saturday Night Football.  Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will host the game and bookend the college football season as the brand new, state-of-the-art stadium will also host the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game (Jan. 8 on ESPN).

In the season’s second week, ABC’s Saturday Night Football airs No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 1 Ohio State (Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.) from Ohio Stadium, continuing ESPN’s tradition of televising big games from the Big Ten.  The Sooners-Buckeyes meet for just the fourth time ever, with Ohio State winning the last two matchups (1983, 2016). It will be Oklahoma’s first trip to Columbus in 40 years, when the Sooners beat Ohio State 29-28.

In week 3, ABC’s Saturday Night Football airs its first of many conference games, as the Seminoles host their longtime in-state, ACC rival, No. 15 Miami Hurricanes (Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.). This season’s matchup will be the 62nd meeting all-time, with the Hurricanes holding a slight advantage in the series (31 wins, 30 losses). The Seminoles have won the last seven meetings.

“To me, FSU-Bama and OU-Ohio State are the two best non-conference games of the season and all three games will have immediate CFP implications,” said ABC Saturday Night Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit. “Looking at this slate of games – and knowing what games Saturday Night Football could have in the following weeks — it has become the premier franchise in the sport. I am ready for the season to start yesterday.”

ESPN’s Networks Open The Season with the Big Ten’s Best – No. 1 Ohio State, No. 5 Penn State, No. 11 Wisconsin, and No. 14  Michigan

Before the aforementioned Sooners-Buckeyes’ critical non-conference matchup in week 2, ESPN’s networks televise the season opener for the Big Ten’s top teams. The No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes begin their season, and conference schedule, at Indiana (8 p.m.) on Thursday, Aug. 31, on ESPN. The following night, Friday, Sept. 1, the 2016 West Division Champions and No. 11-ranked Wisconsin host Utah State (9 p.m.) on ESPN.

On the sport’s first full Saturday of the season (Sept. 2), the reigning Big Ten Champions, No. 5  Penn State, host Akron (noon) and No. 14 Michigan plays the defending SEC East Champion Florida Gators (3:30 p.m.) from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Both games will air on ABC leading into the previously mentioned Saturday Night Football matchup.

The Badgers, Buckeyes, Nittany Lions and Wolverines all played in New Year’s Six bowls last season.

Defending National Champion, No. 7 Clemson Tigers and No. 12 LSU Bookend Opening Saturday Quadruple-Header on ESPN
The defending College Football Playoff National Champion, No. 7 Clemson Tigers, open their season hosting Kent State (noon) Saturday, Sept. 2, on ESPN, the first of four games on the network on opening Saturday.  The 2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff between BYU and No. 12 LSU (9:30 p.m.) from Houston is the nightcap, with NC State vs. South Carolina from Charlotte  (3 p.m.) and Appalachian State at No. 13 Georgia (6:15 p.m.) leading into the Cougars- LSU Tigers matchup.

Top 25 Big 12-ACC Showdown on Special ABC Sunday Night Telecast
For the second straight year, ABC televises a special Sunday night prime-time game to commemorate the season’s first week: a top-25 matchup between the Big 12 and the ACC when No. 20 West Virginia plays No. 22 Virginia Tech from FedExField in Landover, Md.

ESPN’s Traditional Labor Day Night Game Closes Out Week 1
ESPN will conclude its opening week slate with its traditional Labor Day Night Game, this year featuring the second 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Tennessee-Georgia Tech in an SEC-ACC matchup.  The Volunteers-Yellow Jackets matchup is also from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as ESPN will produce the stadium’s first two college football games in a 48-hour span.

ESPN/ABC’s Week 1 Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Aug. 31 8 p.m. No. 1 Ohio State at Indiana ESPN
Fri, Sept. 1 9 p.m. Utah State at No. 11 Wisconsin ESPN
Sat, Sept. 2 Noon Akron at No. 5 Penn State ABC
    Kent State at No. 7 Clemson ESPN
  3 p.m. NC State vs. South Carolina from Charlotte ESPN
  3:30 p.m. No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 21 Florida from Arlington, Texas ABC
  6:15 p.m. Appalachian State at No. 13 Georgia ESPN
  8 p.m. 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Alabama from Atlanta ABC
  9:30 p.m. 2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff: BYU vs. No. 12 LSU from Houston ESPN
Sun, Sept. 3 2:30 p.m. 2017 MEAC/SWAC Challenge: South Carolina State at Southern ESPN2
  7:30 p.m. No. 20 West Virginia vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech from Landover, Md. ABC
Mon, Sept. 4 8 p.m. 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech from Atlanta ESPN

 

ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Week 2

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sat, Sept. 9 7:30 p.m. No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 1 Ohio State ABC

 

ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Week 3

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sat, Sept. 16 8 p.m. No. 15 Miami at No. 2 Florida State ABC

Additional games for ESPN’s networks weeks 0, 1, 2, and 3 schedule will be announced at a later date
Rankings are from
Mark Schlabach’s post spring games Top 25 on ESPN.com

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; Derek.Volner@ESPN.com and @DerekVolner

Team Alert

John Harris on the LSU Spring Game: Canada’s Offense is No Joke

Mother nature might have played as big a role as any player or coach on Saturday in Baton Rouge for LSU’s annual spring game. Before the storm hit, though, the purple and gold assemblage got a chance to see what SEC defenses will learn in due time.

Matt Canada’s offense is no joke.

Shift, motions, tackle over, shovel pass RPOs, tackle eligible passes and numerous other wrinkles had some LSU fans wondering what, in fact, they were watching. And, as it’s only the spring game, LSU’s new energetic offensive coordinator has plenty in his back pocket for the regular season.

The days of true two back, 21 and 22, I-formation personnel are all but gone on the Bayou. The Tigers will throw a litany of formations and play schemes that SEC defenses have NEVER seen from LSU. There are split plays where one side of the formation runs one play and the other side runs another. Canada’s innovation will have heads spinning for a while and it may take a while for it to completely click.

When it does, though, whooo boy, look out.

Oh, did I mention that LSU has arguably the best running back in the nation? I didn’t? Where are my manners? When defenses focus completely on star back Derrius Guice, there will be lanes and openings for a myriad of other offensive stars, including receiver/slot/speed sweeper D.J. Chark, now donning Leonard Fournette’s number seven. Guice, though, stands to gain the most, in some sense, because he won’t spend his entire day ramming his 5-11, 212 lb. body into eight or nine man stacked boxes. He’s going to have as much space to exploit as any back in the country and that’s not a good thing for SEC foes. He’s also going to get more involved in the passing game as he did on the first drive of the game, catching a flat route well ahead of coverage, down to the half yard line. A false start penalty cost LSU’s gold team the touchdown, but it was a sign of things to come with Guice, like Pitt’s James Conner last year, as a key receiver in this scheme.

And, no, your TV wasn’t play fast forward either; the Tigers now play as fast as any team in the conference, sprinting up to the line of scrimmage after first downs and nearly every other play. Now, there’s a difference in playing fast and playing fast effectively. A team can’t just focus on the speed of play, but the efficiency and execution while playing fast. Canada learned that he can combine the innovation of his playbook with pace of play and make it dangerous combination for SEC defenses.

It’s going to be fun in Baton Rouge this season, that’s for sure, and it starts at NRG Stadium September 2nd, 2017.

By: John Harris

Press Release

2017 ADVOCARE TEXAS KICKOFF SINGLE-GAME TICKETS AVAILABLE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19

LSU AND BYU TO FACE OFF THIS SEPTEMBER AT NRG STADIUM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

HOUSTON – Single-game tickets for the 2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff featuring Louisiana State University and Brigham Young University will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, April 19.

Ticket prices for the game range from $45-$350. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can do so by calling 832-667-2390 or by visiting TicketMaster.com. A limited number of single-game suites are also available for purchase by calling 832-667-2160 or by following the link here.

The AdvoCare Texas Kickoff is annually one of the premier neutral-site games in the country. The 2017 game is the fifth edition of the nationally televised Labor Day weekend college football event created by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. LSU and BYU will play at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.

The 2017 Kickoff game will mark the first ever match-up between these two schools and will continue the tradition of championship caliber opponents facing off at NRG Stadium. This will be LSU’s second time appearing in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff. Their first visit, a 28-24 victory over Wisconsin in 2014, is the most attended college football game in NRG Stadium history. This will mark BYU’s first time playing in the event. For more information on the game visit AdvoCareTexasKickoff.com.

CONTACTS:

Allie LeClair
832-667-2050
allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

Katie Karsh
832-667-2085
katie.karsh@houstontexans.com

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Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, FCS opening-weekend game, 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Montgomery Kickoff Classic (Montgomery, Ala.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Uncasville, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.); State Farm Armed Forces Classic (Honolulu); State Farm Champions Classic (New York City); Tire Pros Invitational (Orlando, Fla.) and Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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ESPN Media Contact: Rachel Margolis Siegal at 860-766-2798 or rachel.m.siegal@espn.com

Team Alert

TEXAS BOWL SETS RECORD SINGLE-YEAR DONATION TO DEPELCHIN CHILDRENS CENTER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 3, 2017

HOUSTON – The Texas Bowl presented a check for $180,000 to DePelchin Children’s Center this week, setting a record single-year donation to the charity. The donation came from the proceeds of the 2016 Texas Bowl.

The Texas Bowl presented the $180,000 check to Jenifer Jarriel, the President and CEO of the DePelchin Children’s Center. The gift was the largest in Bowl history and marked the sixth time that the Bowl contributed $100,000 or more to DePelchin. Donations have previously exceeded $100,000 in 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“We are thrilled to present DePelchin Children’s Center with the largest single-year donation since our alignment in 2006,” Chairman of the Texas Bowl Don Faust, Jr. said. “The relationship between the Texas Bowl and DePelchin is extremely important to our volunteers, staff and board members and we are honored to provide a significant financial contribution to the charity each year.”

DePelchin Children’s Center was named as the Bowl’s official charitable beneficiary in 2006. In its historic tenth anniversary year in 2015, the Bowl surpassed $1 million in total donations to DePelchin and has generated millions of dollars in promotional support and publicity to date.

“We are incredibly thankful for this record breaking $180,000 donation from the Texas Bowl to DePelchin,” DePelchin President and CEO Jenifer Jarriel said. “Not only does this donation provide much needed financial support, but this partnership provides our families with experiences throughout the year that will last a lifetime.”

Founded in 1892 by Kezia Payne DePelchin, DePelchin Children’s Center is an accredited foster care and adoption agency serving the most vulnerable children and families in Texas and working to break the cycles of abuse and neglect. DePelchin’s approach to caring for kids integrates at-risk prevention, foster care, adoption and post-adoption programs to improve the mental health and physical well-being of children who are at risk of entering or are in the State’s child welfare system.

The agency was originally founded as an orphanage and has grown and changed over its 125 year history to continue to meet the needs of the Houston community. Today, DePelchin Children’s Center offers support for children and families throughout the Greater Houston area and across Texas, including Austin, San Antonio, Brownwood and Lubbock.

Last year’s Texas Bowl matched Kansas State and Texas A&M in the third year of the Bowl’s partnership with the Big 12 and the SEC. The game between the Wildcats and the Aggies was among the Top-5 most-attended bowls in the country for the third consecutive year as Kansas State rolled to a 33-28 victory over Texas A&M.
The Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff have grown to become two of the most popular annual college football games in the country and have combined to create an economic impact of close to $100 million annually for the city of Houston.

The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment.

CONTACTS:
Allie LeClair, (832) 919-0655
Katie Karsh, (610) 755-8682

About the Texas Bowl
The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next three years. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first 11 years as it is the 4th most-attended bowl overall since 2014. The bowl generates nearly $50 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated over $1,200,000 in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.