ESPN announced the creation of the Texas Kick Off Classic – an opening weekend college football game between Mississippi State and Oklahoma State at Reliant Stadium in Houston to be played Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.
Mississippi State, No. 19 in the current Associated Press poll, won the 2012 Music City Bowl to record consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2000. The Bulldogs last played in Houston on October 9, 2009 at the University of Houston. MSU has never played in Reliant Stadium.
"This is a great opportunity for our team to open the 2013 season in an NFL stadium," said Scott Stricklin, Mississippi State Director of Athletics. "It provides our fans a unique destination for the season opener. We have a great fan base in Texas, as well, who will be excited to see the Bulldogs play in their home state."
Oklahoma State and Mississippi State have met four times, most recently a 29-11 Bulldogs victory in Starkville, Miss., on September 18, 1999.
“We are excited to work with the Texans and Lone Star Sports and Entertainment to bring a Labor Day weekend football game to the city of Houston,” said Pete Derzis, Sr. Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Regional Television. “A game of this caliber serves as a great complement to our postseason college football bowl game played at Reliant Stadium.”
“Our organization is committed to growing the game of football at all levels and doing great things for Houston. This game and this Labor Day series concept is another way for us to simultaneously do both," said Jamey Rootes, Houston Texans and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment President. “Along with our Board and ESPN, we’ve built the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas into one of the best-attended bowls in America, and hosting these two outstanding football programs at Reliant Stadium will serve as a tremendous bookend for the 2013 college football season in Houston.”
Mississippi State’s athletic ticket office has already begun accepting orders for the Texas Kick Off Classic. With prices ranging from $45 to $125, Mississippi State’s allotment includes 10,500 tickets with 9,700 located along the sideline. A detailed seating map will be available at HailState.com.
Tickets can be purchased online at HailState.com/Tickets or by phone at 888-GO-DAWGS.