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63rd AutoZone Liberty Bowl kicks off Tuesday

(WMC Action News 5)
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 7:17 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s almost time for the Kickoff of the 63rd AutoZone Liberty Bowl between Mississippi State and Texas Tech.

The Bulldogs are making their fifth appearance in the Winter Classic. State comes in with a 7-5 record and a Red Hot Quarterback in Will Rogers, who’s thrown for at least 300 yards in 10 straight games as part of Head Coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense that ranks third nationally. 

Texas Tech Quarterback Donovan Smith is a freshman making just his fourth career start. 

He’s only the second freshman in Big 12 History to start a bowl game. Smith’s numbers, a 63.1 Completion Percentage for 929 yards and six touchdowns against two interceptions.

The head coaches, Interim Sonny Cumbie of the Red Raiders and Bulldogs Boss Leach, talk about their QB’s.

“So, Donovan is a key piece ‘cause he’s the quarterback,” said Cumbie. ‘He is no different from an offensive lineman, a defensive lineman, or a linebacker so, We tell him just relax and go out there and just play football.  We tell him just get out there and just let it rip.”

“He’s kind of a dynamic guy. He’s got good feet. He can spit the ball out of his hand at times,” said Leach. “I think he’s gonna be a really good player. I think he is now. He’s gonna get more and more experience  it build on that.” 

Interesting side note, Cumbie will take over as head coach at Louisiana Tech after the game. 

Cumbie once played for Leach at Texas Tech.

Kickoff of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is set for 5:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoon

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