SHREVEPORT, La. – The 47th Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl is less than two weeks away, and the first Power Five matchup in seven years is set, as the California Golden Bears from the Pac-12 Conference will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders out of the Big 12 Conference.
Kickoff between Cal and Texas Tech is set for Saturday night, December 16 at 8:15 p.m. CST at Independence Stadium. The game will be televised on primetime on ESPN – marking the 31st consecutive year the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl has been televised on an ESPN network.
The California Golden Bears, led by seventh-year head coach Justin Wilcox, finished the 2023 regular season with three consecutive wins en route to a 6-6 record and bowl-eligibility. Following a close victory over Washington State at home on November 11, the Bears defeated rival Stanford on the road by double digits before closing out the season with a convincing win over UCLA, 33-7, at the Rose Bowl.
The Bears’ 181.1 rushing yards per game were their best since 2012 with the ground game led by sophomore All-American candidate Jaydn Ott, who finished the regular season as the Pac-12’s leader in total rushing yards (1,260) and rushing yards per game (114.55), and second in rushing touchdowns (11). Ott totaled 14 touchdowns by adding two receiving and another with a 100-yard kickoff return at UCLA on the first time he had returned a kickoff at any level of football. Redshirt freshman quarterback Fernando Mendoza completed 131-of-210 passes for 1,447 yards and 13 touchdowns. The four leading Cal receivers caught 30 or more passes, led by junior Jeremiah Hunter with 58 receptions for 669 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Bears had a knack for big plays on defense, tying for the nation’s lead in fumbles recovered (14) and ranking tied for second in turnovers gained (25). Cal also had three defensive touchdowns to rank tied for 13th nationally.
This is the first appearance in the Independence Bowl in Cal’s storied history. This will be the Golden Bears’ 25th bowl game in program history. They also rank 37th all-time among FBS teams in wins, with 694 in school history.
Texas Tech will make its third all-time appearance in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl after a 6-6 regular season under second-year head coach Joey McGuire. The Red Raiders finished 5-4 in Big 12 play for the second consecutive season, making Texas Tech one of only three Big 12 programs to boast a winning conference record in back-to-back seasons. The Red Raiders wrapped the regular season by going 3-1 in November, topping two fellow bowl teams in the process with a road victory at Kansas and then against UCF the following week in Lubbock. Texas Tech is in a bowl game for the third consecutive season and the 41st time in program history, which ranks tied for 20th in college football history.
The Golden Bears and Red Raiders have met up once prior, with that meeting coming in the 2004 Holiday Bowl. Texas Tech took home the 45-31 victory in that game, with current Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie being named the Offensive Player of the Game.
Cal is the fifth representative of the Pac-12 to appear in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, and the conference has had success in their previous four appearances – sporting a 3-1 record. Arizona was the last Pac-12 team to make their way to Shreveport in 2013. Texas Tech is the 13th representative of the Big 12 to play in the Independence Bowl. The Big 12 is 4-8 in those 12 games. The last time the Big 12 was represented in the Independence Bowl was Missouri in 2011. The Houston Cougars, now in the Big 12, were victorious in the 2022 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl as a representative of the American Athletic Conference.
The 47th edition of the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl is set for Saturday, December 16 at 8:15 p.m. between Cal and Texas Tech. Various ticket options are on sale now for the Saturday night playing of Shreveport-Bossier’s annual bowl game. Endzone Bench, Sideline Bench and Sideline Chairback tickets are available atRadianceTechnologiesIndependenceBowl.com/tickets. Great ticket packages – including group tickets, Family Four-Packs, Small Business Fan-Packs and premium options – are available online or by calling the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl office at 318.221.0712 or toll-free at 888.414.BOWL.
Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Week will also feature many free and ticketed events for local and traveling fans of all ages to enjoy. The FCA Breakfast will kick off the public event schedule on Thursday, December 14 at 7:30 a.m. at Riverview Hall. The following night, the eve of the 2023 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, local and traveling fans will all gather in the East Bank District for the free Rally on the Red. The Rally on the Red will feature four free events from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 15. Finally, on game day on Saturday, December 16, the week of public events will culminate with Coca-Cola Fan Fest from 12-7:30 p.m. in the Silver Lot outside of Independence Stadium – leading fans into the 8:15 p.m. kickoff of the 47th Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl.
ABOUT THE RADIANCE TECHNOLOGIES INDEPENDENCE BOWL™
Established in 1976, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl™ is college football’s 11th most-historic bowl game – celebrating its 47th edition on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 8:15 p.m. CST with a matchup of the California Golden Bears and Texas Tech Red Raiders on ESPN. The Independence Bowl Foundation announced a one-year extension with Radiance Technologies – ensuring they will be the title sponsor through 2025. The bowl’s conference, team, and television agreements also run through the 2025 season. Army West Point and the Big 12 are slated to match up against a rotation of the Pac-12 Conference, American Athletic Conference and Conference USA, which will be televised on an ESPN network.
The Independence Bowl Foundation is prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance the economic impact and growth of our community. The Mission of the Independence Bowl is to attract and provide quality, nationally recognized football competition oriented to the Ark-La-Tex region. For more information, visitRadianceTechnologiesIndependenceBowl.com or follow the bowl on Facebook, X and Instagram at @IndyBowl.