Texas selected to play Georgia in Sugar Bowl

Jeffrey McCulloch (Will Gallagher/IT)

Jeffrey McCulloch (Will Gallagher/IT)

The University of Texas Football program has been selected to represent the Big 12 Conference in the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Kickoff against Georgia will be at 7:45 p.m. CT on ESPN.

“What a tremendous reward it is for our players to compete in a prestigious New Year’s Day bowl game like the Sugar Bowl,” head coach Tom Herman said. “I’m extremely proud of what the team has accomplished this season and earning a spot in a big-time game like this, against a tremendous opponent like Georgia, is a huge step for our program. We couldn’t be happier with this opportunity and are excited to get back to work and prepare to try to go 1-0 in the Sugar Bowl.”

Texas is 9-4 overall and ranked No. 15 in the CFP. The Longhorns lost 39-27 to No. 4 (CFP) Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game. Georgia is 11-2 overall and ranked No. 5 in the CFP Top 25. The Bulldogs lost to No. 1 Alabama, 35-28, in the SEC Championship Game. Both programs have four wins over ranked opponents this season, tied for second-most in the country.

The 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl marks the 55th all-time bowl appearance for both programs, second-most in college football history. It will be UT’s fourth appearance in the Sugar Bowl all-time. The Longhorns are 1-2 in the Sugar Bowl. Texas owns a 3-1 series record against the Bulldogs entering the matchup on Jan. 1.

In just his fourth season as a head coach, Herman has led his program to a NY6 Bowl Game for the second time. He owns a record of 38-14 as a head coach, including 16-10 at the helm of Texas. Herman is 2-0 in bowl games that he has coached in, winning the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl over Florida State and the 2017 Texas Bowl against Missouri. His 2016 Houston program also played in the Las Vegas Bowl, a game that he did not coach in after taking over the Longhorns’ program. This will mark Herman’s second appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, as he was the offensive coordinator of Ohio State in 2014, when it defeated Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal, 42-35, on Jan. 1, 2015. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator in that game.

“I’ve had the chance to experience the awesome hospitality and atmosphere around the Sugar Bowl when we played Alabama there in the 2014 College Football Playoff and know our players, coaches and fans will really enjoy being a part of it,” Herman added.

The Longhorns feature one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in sophomore Sam Ehlinger, who has completed 256-of-398 passes for 3,123 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also leads the Big 12 Conference with 13 rushing touchdowns. His 38 touchdowns accounted for are tied with Vince Young (2005) for second-most in school history. Ehlinger’s 3,123 passing yards are sixth-most in school history for a single season.

Texas also has one of the most prolific receiving duos in school history in juniors Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson. The duo has combined to catch 144 passes for 2,054 yards and 16 touchdowns. They are just the third duo in school history to combine for at least 2,000 yards in a season. Humphrey has 79 catches for 1,109 yards and nine touchdowns. His 1,109 yards are the fifth-most in school history while his nine touchdowns are tied for seventh-most. Johnson has totaled 65 catches for 945 yards and seven touchdowns.

Two Longhorns were named Big 12 Players of the Year just last Wednesday. Senior defensive end Charles Omenihu was named the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, while freshman safety Caden Sterns became the seventh Longhorn to earn the conference’s Defensive Freshman of the Year honor.

Omenihu has totaled 43 tackles with 16 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. His 16 TFL are the most in a season by a Longhorn since 2013, as are his 9.5 sacks which rank second in the Big 12 Conference. Linebackers Gary Johnson and Anthony Wheeler lead the way in tackles with 85 and 84, respectively.

As a team, UT ranks third in the conference in total defense, while their rushing defense ranks second. In the Big 12 Championship Game, the Longhorns held Oklahoma without a touchdown in the first quarter, snapping the Sooners’ 24-game streak of doing so. It also held OU to 129 rushing yards on 40 attempts, after OU had gone six consecutive games with 290-or-more rushing yards. The Longhorns’ defense ranks 15th nationally in the red zone.

Longhorn Bowl Notes

• The 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl will mark UT’s 55th all-time bowl appearance, the second-most in college football history. The Longhorns own a bowl record of 28-24-3. Coincidentally, Georgia will be making its 55th all-time bowl appearance also. They are 31-20-3 in bowl games.

• Texas and Georgia will meet for the fifth time, with UT owning a 3-1 mark. The two schools, who just recently announced a home-and-home series in 2028 and 2029, meet for the third time in a bowl game. Texas beat Georgia, 41-38, in the 1949 Orange Bowl, while Georiga beat Texas, 10-9, in the 1984 Cotton Bowl.

• Texas will be playing an SEC opponent for the 23rd time in a bowl game. The Longhorns own a record of 13-8-1 in bowl games against current SEC members. The Longhorns’ most common SEC opponent is Alabama (4-1-1 record).

• This year’s Sugar Bowl will be UT’s fourth all-time appearance in the game. The Longhorns are 1-2 in the Sugar Bowl, with their last appearance being a 28-10 loss to Virginia Tech in 1995. The Horns won the 1948 Sugar Bowl, 27-7 over Alabama, and lost the 1958 Sugar Bowl, 39-7 to Ole Miss.

• UT had a school-record stretch of 12 straight bowl appearances from 1998-2009, which bested the previous mark of nine straight from 1977-85.

Longhorn season ticketholders can request tickets by here:

https://ev9.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/GetApps?linkID=tex-ath&linkSource=SR&caller=appList

The deadline for season ticketholder requests for seats in the Longhorns’ Sugar Bowl allotment is Monday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. (Central Time). Requests will be filled on a priority basis utilizing Loyalty Points and Longhorn Foundation membership level. Allotments are limited so all requests may not be filled, or pending availability, may only be partially filled. Texas will provide information regarding the status of orders received on or before Friday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.