COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M University has accepted an invitation from the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl to play the University of Georgia in the 2009 bowl matchup to be played Monday, Dec. 28 with kick scheduled for 4 p.m. (central) in Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The game will be televised by ESPN2.
"We are excited about this opportunity to play in the AdvoCare Independence Bowl," Texas A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. "To be matched with a storied program like the University of Georgia will present a great challenge to our young squad. I am proud of the way these Aggie players and coaches have fought throughout this season. The preparation is also important for the development of our team and program. I am certain the 12th Man will be in stands in Shreveport."
This will mark the third time Texas A&M has played in the Independence Bowl and the first since dropping a 43-41 overtime decision to Mississippi State in 2000 in the "Snow Bowl". The other previous appearance came in 1981 as the Aggies defeated Oklahoma State, 33-16, behind the play of Bowl offensive MVP quarterback Gary Kubiak.
"I am proud of our squad," Aggie Head Football Coach Mike Sherman said. "We have a great group of seniors. This is a very unselfish group that took in the younger players and helped in their development which in turn helped us reach a bowl game."
"I know Georgia is a quality SEC team and they will be well-coached," Sherman added. "I have never participated in the Independence Bowl, but I am certain it will be a great experience for our program."
The 2009 bowl appearance is the 31st for the Aggie football program and A&M has an overall bowl record of 13-17. A&M has faced Georgia once before in a bowl contest, the 1950 Presidential Cup played in College Park, Maryland, with the Aggies topping the Bulldogs, 40-20.
The last time A&M and Georgia faced each other on the gridiron was 1980 in Athens with a Bulldog freshman running back by the name of Herschel Walker leading Georgia to a 42-0 victory. The overall record is in favor of A&M, 3-1. The Aggie Presidential Bowl victory in 1950 (40-20), a 14-12 A&M decision over Georgia in a game played in Dallas in 1953, and an Aggie 6-0 victory in 1954 played in Athens, which was the first A&M win for new head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
"I'm excited and this should be a fun experience getting to play an SEC team the caliber of Georgia," Aggie senior defensive back Jordan Pugh said. "It's hard to believe these four years are coming to a close. It would be very special for this group of seniors--we have seen some ups and downs; to go out with a bowl victory against a very good Georgia team."
"This is another chance for this group of players to win a bowl," Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson said. "I would not consider us a young team anymore because we have been through so much. The guys worked extremely hard in the off-season and spring, then we had the new guys join our team and they learned quickly the work ethic needed to play in the Big 12. Now it is up to us to focus on a good Georgia team and prepare to the best of our abilities."