December 3, 2006

OSU headed to the Independence Bowl

After a week's worth of speculation on which bowl would be Oklahoma State's destination, it turned out being exactly where most prognosticators had them forecast - the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 28.

The Cowboys will take on Southeastern Conference representative Alabama.

"We at the PetroSun Independence Bowl are very excited about the matchup that we are able to provide this year," said PetroSun Independence Bowl chair Markey Pierre. "This year's game will showcase two of football's great programs in Alabama and Oklahoma State on Dec. 28 at 3:30 p.m. in a game that should be electrifying."

OSU players were pleased with the bid, but noted that gaining the bid was more important than the destination.

"We have this opportunity because the Independence Bowl selected us," junior safety Donovan Woods said. "Obviously, we were not in this position last year. We took some steps in the right direction. We still have some steps to go, but it is good to know we are stepping in the right direction. We are happy with the progress so far."

Sophomore quarterback Bobby Reid echoed Woods' sentiment that the bid marks the progress the Cowboys have made over 2005's disappointing 4-7 tally.

"Last season, we were out of the games early," Reid said. "This year, in three or four games it came down to the last snap. That shows a lot of improvement on our part. This season has showed us that the more work we put in this, the higher we can go. One of our goals this season was to play in the postseason. We have accomplished that by going to the Independence Bowl. It is very exciting for us."

The 6-6 Crimson Tide is undergoing a major change going into the bowl game, as head coach David Shula was fired last week. Defensive coordinator Joe Kines has been named interim head coach and will lead the Tide in the Independence Bowl.

Much like OSU, the Tide was a few plays away from a much better 2006 record. They lost three conference games by a combined 11 points, including a one-point loss in double-overtime to Western division champion Arkansas.

The game is slated to be televised nationally by ESPN.

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