AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time in program history, the Texas State Bobcats will play in a bowl game.
They won’t have to go far to play it, either. Texas State will take on Rice in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at 4:30 p.m., Dec. 26 from Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
The teams haven’t played each other since 1987 and each has two wins in four meetings.
Texas State finished the regular season 7-5 to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014. The Bobcats weren’t selected to play in a bowl game that season. The Bobcats finished in a tie for second place in the Sun Belt Conference West Division while Rice finished tied for fifth in the American Athletic Conference. The Owls finished 6-6 overall and were one of six AAC teams who won enough games to make it to a bowl.
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Texas State’s Ismail Mahdi finished the FBS regular season as the nation’s leader in all-purpose yardage with 1,209 rushing, 276 receiving and 529 kick return yards to average 167.83 yards per game. He was one of FBS’ most dynamic kick returners, averaging 26.4 yards per return for No. 12 in the country.
Quarterback TJ Finley finished the regular season No. 19 in passing yards per game, averaging 273.92. Rice quarterback JT Daniels finished No. 22 in FBS with 271.44 yards per game.