Making SDSU’s two-bowl appearance streak more amazing is that they accomplished it with two different head coaches. Brady Hoke led the team to a 9-4 record last year, and Rocky Long can do the same this season with a victory in this game. San Diego State was projected to finish 9-3 by the preseason Congrove Computer Rankings.
New Orleans Bowl Chairman Ron Gardner said, "We are thrilled to have two brand new teams, with first-year head coaches coming New Orleans for this year’s game. Both the Aztecs and the Ragin’ Cajuns have played a lot of exciting football this year, and we know both of these teams will continue that momentum for this year’s game."
The Ragin' Cajun’s appearance in the 1970 Grantland Rice Bowl is not counted as an FBS bowl game. Nonetheless, Hudspeth referenced it in his remarks after accepting the New Orleans Bowl invitation. "This is a great day for Ragin Cajun football," said Hudspeth. "I am very proud of these players, students and fans that are going to be going to a bowl game for the first time in 41 years."
"I’m just excited for the development of the program," Jim Sterk, Director of Athletics for SDSU said. "It’s a great reward for the hard work that our coaches, our players and all the support that our fans have given us all year long to be rewarded with this game. I’m excited about this year and the future and what this program is doing and what we have to do yet."
The 2011 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will kickoff at 9pm (EST) on ESPN.
The Congrove Computer Rankings project San Diego State as a 9.46-point favorite in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.