The 2009 Texas Bowl will showcase two teams with contrasting styles.
Missouri WR Danario Alexander led the country with 1,644 receiving yards and the Tigers passing attack ranked 13th nationally.
On the other sideline, Navy QB Ricky Dobbs set the NCAA single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 24 this year and led a rushing attack that ranked fourth nationally with an average of 272.5 yards per game.
Missouri ended the season at 8-4 while Navy finished 9-4 after last Saturday’s 17-3 win over Army. The Tigers are seeking their third consecutive nine-win season while a win in the Texas Bowl would give the Midshipmen 10 wins for just the third time in school history.
The 2009 Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, December 31 at 2:30 p.m. CST at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
The Tigers are making their fifth consecutive appearance in a postseason bowl and their sixth in eight years under Pinkel. Including the Texas Bowl, Missouri has finished each of the last four seasons in the state of Texas. The Tigers played in the 2008 Alamo Bowl, the 2008 Cotton Bowl and the 2006 Sun Bowl.
The Tigers are led by a trio of first-team All-Big 12 selections in senior wide receiver Danario Alexander, senior linebacker Sean Witherspoon and sophomore kicker Grant Ressel. Alexander leads the nation in receiving yards per game, averaging 137.0 per contest. Freshman defensive end Aldon Smith was named the Big 12 defensive freshman of the year after registering 11 sacks on the season.
The United States Naval Academy accepted a bid to play in the 2009 Texas Bowl following the Midshipmen’s 23-21 victory over Notre Dame on Nov. 7 to become the first team to accept a bowl invitation.
Missouri leads the series 2-0, but the teams haven't met since the Orange Bowl following the 1960 season. The only other meeting took place during the 1948 regular season.
Missouri is 12-14 in bowl games, including losses in each of its first seven bowls. The Tigers have returned to Columbia victorious from three of their last bowl trips, and are 3-2 in bowl games under Pinkel.
The Midshipmen have a 6-8-1 bowl record and are currently in the midst of a 3-bowl losing streak.
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo is 17-10 at Navy and overall. Pinkle is 140-82-3 overall, 67-45 at Missouri.