NOTE: Virtually all of this information was taken from TaxAct Texas Bowl Press Releases. For more news and information, visit the TaxAct Texas Bowl website.
The 2021 Texas Bowl, featuring teams from the Big 12 and SEC, will kick off in prime time tonight - Tuesday, January 4 - at 9 p.m. ET. The 15th edition of the game will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston and will air on ESPN.
The Texas Bowl is a top-five most attended bowl game in the country and the most attended non-New Year’s Six game since 2016, trailing only the Rose, Peach, Fiesta and Orange Bowls. The Texas Bowl and its sister event, the Texas Kickoff, have grown to become two of the most popular annual college football games in the country, combining to create an economic impact of close to $80 million annually for the city of Houston while raising over $2 million in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston’s oldest children’s charity and the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.
In 2019, the Texas Bowl featured the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies, marking the sixth year of the Bowl’s affiliation with the Big 12 and the SEC. With an Aggies 24-21 victory over the Cowboys, then Texas A&M and current Minnesota Vikings QB Kellen Mond was named the 2019 Texas Bowl MVP. Last year’s Texas Bowl was scheduled to feature TCU and Arkansas but was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.
Tonight, Kansas State will represent the Big 12 Conference while LSU will represent the SEC. The two programs have met just once before when LSU earned a 21-0 victory over Kansas State on September 13, 1980. The 2021 TaxAct Texas Bowl will mark Kansas State’s third appearance and first since 2016 when the Wildcats earned a 33-28 win over Texas A&M. LSU will make its second appearance in the TaxAct Texas Bowl and first since 2015 when the Tigers beat Texas Tech, 56-27.
This bowl game has so many different story lines, starting with the quarterbacks. Hobbled by injury, Kansas State QB Skylar Thompson does appear as if he’s going to find a way to play in this game after missing the season finale with an injury. He also had to sit out September games against Nevada and Oklahoma State. There is no doubt his his presence changes things for the Wildcat offense. They were 6-3 when he played, and 1-2 when he had to sit out.
It looks like LSU will burn Garrett Nussmeier's redshirt as he was the only scholarship QB on the roster after Max Johnson decided to transfer until Myles Brennan returned. But, Brennan probably won’t play.
LSU will be without several of its star defensive players, including cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., linebacker Damone Clark, and defensive tackle Neil Farrell.
Kansas State has no opt-outs. Defensive stud Felix Anudike-Uzomah is a one man wrecking ball as the First Team All-Big 12 sophomore defensive end collected 36 solo tackles with 11 sacks and 14.5 for loss.
Kansas State is a 1-point favorute at Fan Duel aso of this morning. The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com have LSU by a mere 0.73.