The University of Iowa has accepted an invitation to be the Big Ten representative in the 2006 Alamo Bowl on Saturday, December 30 at 3:30 p.m. CST in San Antonio?s 65,000-seat Alamodome. ?We look forward to welcoming back Iowa to San Antonio for an Alamo Bowl record fourth time,? said Bob Cohen, Alamo Bowl chairman. ?Based on their past visits and the leadership of Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, we anticipate the Riverwalk will be a sea of black and gold with the legions of Hawkeye fans coming to San Antonio to support their team.? The Hawkeyes (who will be the home team this year) are 2-1 in the Alamo Bowl with their first appearance coming in the inaugural Builders Square Alamo Bowl in 1993 as an at-large selection in a losing effort to Cal. The Hawkeyes claimed victory over Texas Tech in both the 1996 Builders Square Alamo Bowl and the 2001 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl. The 2001 game came down to the final play as Iowa cornerback Bob Sanders picked off a Kliff Kingsbury pass in the endzone to seal a 19-16 victory for the Hawkeyes in front of 65,232 fans, the third largest college football crowd in Alamodome history. Since appearing in the 2001 Alamo Bowl, the Iowa Hawkeyes have made four straight January bowl game appearances including the 2003 Orange Bowl, 2004 Outback Bowl, 2005 Capital One Bowl and 2006 Outback Bowl. Under the direction of Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, Iowa has won Big Ten Championships in 2002 and 2004 and compiled a 44-18 record for .709 winning percentage over the last five years. ?We are excited to accept this invitation to return to San Antonio,? said Ferentz. ?We?ve been there before and we know about the great Texas hospitality and we look forward to experiencing it again.? Texas native and senior quarterback Drew Tate passed for 2,349 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2006 to lead Iowa to the No. 2 passing offense in the Big Ten. He is now No. 2 at Iowa behind Chuck Long in both career total yards with 8,143 and career total passing yards with 8,018. Tate?s 59 career touchdown passes ranks No. 9 all-time in Big Ten history. Tate set Texas career records for passing yards (12,180) and touchdown passes (113) during his four-year prep career at Baytown (Texas) Lee High School. Tate has played twice in the Alamodome, but the 2006 Alamo Bowl will be his final chance to claim victory in the venue. His first appearance resulted in a 35-14 loss to San Antonio Roosevelt in the 2002 Texas Football Classic. Tate also teamed up with 2005 Heisman Trophy winner and current New Orleans Saint running back Reggie Bush in the 2003 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but the East defeated the West 47-3. “We’re thrilled to be headed to San Antonio,? said Gary Barta, Iowa?s Director of Athletics. ?The Hawkeye’s have a great and long standing relationship with the Alamo Bowl, and I know our fans have wonderful memories of past games.” The head coaches from both schools will make their first appearances in San Antonio on Thursday, December 7 (tentatively scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CST) during a press conference at the AT&T Alamo Bowl Golf Classic at SilverHorn Golf Club. Fans interested in airline reservations for the Alamo Bowl can call American Airlines Meeting Services at 1-800-433-1790 and provide the discount code A81D6AL for a 5% discount off Coach and First Class fares. Their hours of operation are 5 a.m. to midnight (CST) seven days a week, 365 days year. Ticket prices for the 2006 Alamo Bowl are $25-$65 and can be purchased by logging onto www.alamobowl.com or visiting the Alamodome Southwest Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Fans can also purchase their tickets by phone by calling Ticketmaster at (210) 224-9600. ?San Antonio football fans should be excited to see Iowa back in the Alamo Bowl,? said Derrick Fox, Alamo Bowl President/CEO. ?Iowa is one of the nation?s most tradition-rich programs and over the last three seasons San Antonio has hosted the top three Big Ten teams in terms of bowl appearances in Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa.? This year?s game will be the 14th installment of the Alamo Bowl. Since 1995, the game has matched the Big Ten and the Big 12 Conferences. This combination has produced seven of the Top 20 most-watched games in ESPN bowl history and has averaged a 4.5 rating. In 2005, the Alamo Bowl featured Nebraska and Michigan in a game that earned a 5.4 rating making it the most-watched college bowl game in ESPN history. The selection of the Alamo Bowl?s Big 12 team is not anticipated until Sunday, December 3 as part of the Fleming?s Alamo Bowl Team Announcement Party. A press conference will be held in conjunction with the party at 5 p.m. to make the announcement at Fleming?s Prime Steakhouse in The Quarry Market at 255 E. Basse Road. The Big 12 teams currently under consideration include Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Missouri and Oklahoma State.
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