Wednesday, December 31st, 2008


The No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-1, 7-1 Big 12) wrapped up their practice schedule for the 73rd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic with a 90-minute workout in helmets and shorts under sunny but cool conditions today at Texas Stadium.

The Raiders will not practice Thursday, as is their norm the day before a game. Texas Tech, the first one-loss team to play in the Classic since BYU in 1997, faces the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009.

“We had good polished period, to be sure. I thought we had good work,” said Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach. “I think we’ve had good preparation (this week). We just need to continue the mental preparation between now and the game.”

The Red Raiders’ final Cotton Bowl Classic practice also marked the final football-related event in the 38 years of Texas Stadium. Friday, Texas Tech will be playing in the final Cotton Bowl Classic to be played at the Cotton Bowl Stadium at Fair Park.

“I guess we’re closing down two stadiums,” Leach said. “If (Cotton Bowl Classic broadcaster) Pat Summerall says he’s never done it before, then it’s a rare experience. We’re the ultimate closer.”

Former Red Raiders Maury Buford (1978-81), the kicker on the Chicago Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl champions, and Jesse Pruitt (1965), a member of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association’s board of directors, were among several former players who attended today’s practice.

Texas Tech has no reported injuries.

The 73rd AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will kick off at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. The Classic will be televised for the 11th consecutive year on FOX Sports. Summerall and Brian Baldinger will handle the broadcasting duties, with Jeanne Zelasko and Krista Voda reporting from the sidelines. For the 16th consecutive year, the Westwood One Radio Network will broadcast the Classic, with Brad Sham and Terry Bowden at the microphones. The game is sold out.