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Michigan and Nebraska to match-up in 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl

The Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten Conference and the Nebraska Cornhuskers from the Big 12 Conference have accepted invitations to play in the 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl on Wednesday, December 28 at 7 p.m. (CST) in San Antonio?s 65,000-seat Alamodome. The two teams have only played five times in their history as Michigan holds a 3-1-1 advantage over Nebraska with their last meeting being a 27-23 Wolverine victory in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl. Prior to that game, the two storied programs had met in 1905, 1911, 1917 and 1962. ?We are looking forward to welcome the Michigan Wolverines and Nebraska Cornhuskers to the 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl and San Antonio,? said Joe Linson, 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl Chairman. ?We?re excited to match-up two of the nation?s most tradition rich programs for only the second time in the last 40 years.? Michigan?s only Alamo Bowl appearance was in 1995 when Texas A&M upended the Wolverines 22-20 in front a sellout crowd and 6.8 million viewers on ESPN. The game earned a 6.3 rating which still ranks as the second highest rated bowl game in ESPN history. Nebraska is 4-0 in San Antonio outscoring their opponents by a combined 159-41 mark in two Alamo Bowl (66-17 over Northwestern in 2000 and 17-3 over Michigan State in 2003) and two Big 12 Championship appearances at the Alamodome (54-15 over Texas A&M in 1997 and 22-6 over Texas in 1999). This season, Michigan is 7-4 and ranked #20 in the AP Poll and #21 in the USA Today Poll. The Wolverines are led by a trio of players on the offensive side of the ball. Sophomore quarterback Chad Henne already ranks #6 all-time in the history of Michigan football in passing yards with 4,999 yards, while running back Mike Hart ran for 1,455 yards last season as a true freshman but has been hampered by injuries this season limiting him to 588 yards. Senior wide receiver Jason Avant has had a breakout season as the number one option for Henne and leads the team with 74 receptions for 936 yards and 8 touchdowns. On defense, senior linebacker David Harris leads the team in total tackles with 80, while junior linebacker LaMarr Woodley creates big plays for the Wolverines and leads the team in sacks with six and tackles for a loss with 15. Under Head Coach Lloyd Carr?s leadership, the Michigan Wolverines have notched a 102-33 record over the last 10 years. Carr, who ranks #4 in winning percentage among active coaches, has a 5-5 bowl mark and made his first bowl trip as a head coach to San Antonio in 1995. The Michigan Wolverines have the most wins in NCAA football history with 849 victories and the nation?s longest active consecutive bowl appearance streak with 31. In comparison, Nebraska is #4 on the all-time win list with 793 victories and haa NCAA record 35 consecutive bowl appearances from 1969 to 2003. The Huskers were not bowl eligible last year as they finished the season 5-6. The Huskers have won seven of their last 10 bowl appearances, including three national title match-ups. Nebraska will come to San Antonio with a 7-4 after winning their last two games against Kansas State (27-25) and Colorado (30-3). The Huskers are lead by junior quarterback Zac Taylor who is second in the Big 12 in passing yards with 2,486. The emergence of freshman wide receiver Nate Swift has been a catalyst in the Nebraska passing attack as he?s caught 42 balls for 610 yards and 6 touchdowns in the last eight games of the season after not catching a pass in the first three games. The Nebraska Blackshirt defense is once again creating havoc for opponents by leading the nation in sacks with 46 as a team. Junior defensive lineman Adam Carriker leads the team with 9.5 sacks, while sophomore linebacker Corey McKeon leads the team in tackles with 86. In his second year with Nebraska, Bill Callahan has an overall mark of 12-10. Prior to Nebraska, Callahan spent two years as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders leading them to the Super Bowl in 2002. ?We are excited about the opportunity to play in the MasterCard Alamo Bowl,? Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan said. ?Our team will face a challenge against a good Michigan football team. This is a classic match up between two of the winningest programs in college football history.? The head coaches from both schools will make their first appearances in San Antonio on Thursday, December 8 (tentatively scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CST) during a press conference at the YELLOWPAGES.COM Alamo Bowl Golf Classic at The Quarry Golf Club. Satellite and call-in information will be distributed on Tuesday. Ticket prices for the 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl are $35, $45 and $55 and can be purchased by logging on to 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 or logging on to www.ticketmaster.com. ?The 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl will feature two of the nation?s best programs playing for only the second time in the last 43 years,? said Derrick Fox, President/CEO of the MasterCard Alamo Bowl. ?We are looking forward to seeing the Riverwalk covered in Husker red and Michigan blue with loyal fans on their way to this year?s game.? Fans interested in travel packages to the 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl can call 1-800-810-2695 (BOWL) American Airlines is also offering fans traveling to San Antonio for the game a 5% discount for Coach Class and First Class fares. This discount is available by calling American Airlines Meeting Services at 1-800-433-1790 and providing the discount code 31D5AE. Other hotel, airfare and rental car information is available on the bowl?s website at www.alamobowl.com. This year?s game will be the 13th installment 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl. Since 1995, the game has matched the Big Ten and the Big 12 Conferences. This combination has produced six of the Top 15 most-watched games in ESPN bowl history. In 2004, the MasterCard Alamo Bowl featured Ohio State and Oklahoma State in a game that attracted a standing room only crowd of 65,265, the third largest paid attendance in Alamodome history and the first Alamo Bowl sellout featuring two-of-state teams. According to a survey conducted by Strategic Marketing Services, 39,250 out-of-town visitors came to San Antonio for the game translating into a direct economic impact of $21 million and a total economic impact of $35 million for the city. –MAB–

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