Mississippi State and Texas Tech have been in Memphis for 24 hours for the 63rd annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Watching both Mississippi State and Texas Tech practice on Sunday, you can sense the excitement levels starting to rise with both programs. Everywhere you turned today, you would hear shoulder pads popping, coaches drilling last minute in instructions to their teams, and the sound of football players giddy for another opportunity to put on either the marron and white or the red and black. It felt like College Football in the air. For that, all of College Football is thankful.
It might not be the sexiest of matchups on paper, according to the numbers of guys who make a living off of deciding which matchup is the best. But, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is filled with interesting storylines that will add to the excitement of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
So, how did both Mississippi State and Texas Tech look on Sunday afternoon as they took to the field of practice?
For Texas Tech, the Red Raiders haven’t let the transition period of hiring a new coach back in early December have any kind of effect on the way they’ve approached the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. As a fly on the wall at practice on Sunday, you could sense that the entire team wanted to go out of the 2021 season with just one more win for the program and interim Head Coach Sonny Cumbie. That says a lot about the group of guys that Texas Tech has on their roster. No matter the coaching turnover, all that matters is their brothers beside them on the line of scrimmage and playing for the front of the jersey. That speaks volumes to the type of program at its core that Texas Tech has heading into the future of Red Raiders Football.
For Mississippi State, the Bulldogs are looking to carry the momentum from another successful season under Mike Leach into the 2022 season. A Mississippi State win on Tuesday would be the second in a row for second-year Head Coach Mike Leach and a program’s 5th bowl win in seven years, which is something that State players understand and don’t take lightly. Mississippi State is a proud program looking to carry on the legacy of Bulldog football into the 2022 season, where Mississippi State could be in the running for a New Year’s Six Bowl appearance.
Mississippi State and Texas Tech will once again hit the practice field on Monday for one last tuneup before Tuesday’s AutoZone Liberty Bowl matchup. That game on Tuesday afternoon will take place at 5:45 local time and will be nationally broadcast on the ESPN network for the entire world to see.