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Huskers to Play Ole Miss in MainStay Independence Bowl
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
12/08/2002
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Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations

Shreveport, La. The MainStay Independence Bowl today named Ole Miss as its Southeastern Conference selection and the University of Nebraska of the Big 12 to play for the 27th Independence Bowl championship trophy on December 27. This marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

Nebraska leads all Division I-A teams with consecutive bowl appearances, this being the Huskers 34th straight post-season game. The Huskers will be making their first appearance in the Independence Bowl. They bring a 7-6 overall record into the game, having played a grueling 13-game schedule.

"We appreciate the fact that we're headed to Shreveport," said Nebraska Head Coach Frank Solich. "We're anxious to be a part of it. All the feedback we?ve gotten about your bowl game has been excellent. I know in visiting with the players they really want to put on a good game for you and the fans."

Nebraska football is tied for fourth on the all-time bowl appearances list with 41, most recently having matched up against Miami in the 2002 Rose Bowl for the National Championship. The Huskers have won six of their last eight bowl games, and lead the nation in consecutive winning seasons with 41, a continuing NCAA record. Over the past 21 seasons, Nebraska has played in 10 Orange Bowls, five Fiesta Bowls, two sugar Bowls, one Rose Bowl, one Florida Citrus Bowl, one Holiday Bowl, one Alamo Bowl and now one MainStay Independence Bowl.

The Rebels of Ole Miss will be making their fifth appearance in the Independence Bowl, having played here in 1983, 1986, 1998, 1999, most recently defeating the Sooners of Oklahoma the year prior to the OU 2000 National Championship. The Rebels are 3-1 in the I-Bowl, their only loss coming with a 9-3 decision to Air Force in 1983. Ole Miss teams have participated in the post-season five of the last six years.

Ole Miss finished the regular-season with a 6-6 record, having to win its final game of the season in a Thursday-night Egg Bowl game against Mississippi State. The Ole Miss schedule included a big mid-season win over the Florida Gators.

"We?re looking forward to the opportunity to visit Shreveport," said Ole Miss Head Coach David Cutcliffe. "We spent the end of the last millennium with you in an exciting way and we?re looking forward to going back. I know our fans are excited. There?s no other bowl out there where we get treated as well as we do at the Independence Bowl."

The MainStay Independence Bowl is set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday, December 27.

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