Press Release


Friday, June 23, 2017

The Texas Tech University Red Raiders and the University of Mississippi Rebels will open the 2018 season in the sixth installment of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The game will be the sixth matchup in the all-time series between the schools.

Louisiana State University will take on Brigham Young University on Sept. 2 to start the 2017 season, and this will mark the first ever meeting between the schools. The LSU Tigers finished the 2016 season 8-4, while the BYU Cougars finished 9-4.

“The AdvoCare Texas Kickoff has become a premier Labor Day weekend college football tradition,” said General Manager of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment David Fletcher. “We look forward to welcoming the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Ole Miss Rebels and their respective passionate fan bases to NRG Stadium in Houston for the 2018 edition of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, signifying the start of the college football season.”

Ole Miss owns a 3-2 record against Texas Tech. The two teams first met in 1986 with their most recent meeting in the 2009 Cotton Bowl where the Rebels beat the Red Raiders 47-34.

Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze is entering his sixth season and coming off the 2016 season with a record of 5-7. In 2014, Freeze led the Rebels to one of their strongest seasons in four decades, finishing 9-3 and spending most of the season in the top 10. During his tenure, the Rebels have maintained a 39-25 record and have competed in four bowl games with three wins.

“We are excited to be part of this great event and play a tradition rich opponent like Texas Tech,” said Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork. “In our scheduling process, we seek out marquee matchups at premier venues, and this is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our program on a grand stage. Houston and the state of Texas have become quite the hot bed for Rebel Nation, and we know our fans will continue our stellar reputation of supporting our team and filling up NRG Stadium.”

Texas Tech Head Coach, and former team quarterback, Kliff Kingsbury is entering his fifth season and coming off the 2016 season with a 5-7 record. During his first season, he became the first Big 12 coach to start his career 7-0. Kingsbury, the third-youngest head coach in college football, holds a record of 24-26, including one bowl game win and one bowl game loss, with the Red Raiders.

“We’re excited to return to Houston and take part in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff,” said Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt. “The support of Red Raider Nation helped set a new Texas Bowl attendance record in our last trip to Houston, so we look forward to NRG Stadium being filled with scarlet and black once again to kick off the 2018 season.”

The game will mark the sixth year of a recently extended four-year extension, through 2020, between Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, to bring a top college football game to NRG Stadium during the Labor Day weekend to start the college football season.

“We are very pleased to showcase these two outstanding programs in the 2018 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff game,” said Senior Vice President of College Sports Programming and Events Pete Derzis. “Both schools have dedicated alumni and engaged fan bases and the expectation is a great crowd on hand for the Kickoff matchup.”

For more information on ticket packages for the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, log on to For information on luxury suites call 832-667-2160.

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Marmot Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Orlando, Fla.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (TBD); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan) and State Farm Champions Classic (New York City)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.


Media Contacts:         

ESPN Events – Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; and @DerekVolner
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff – Allie LeClair at 832-667-2050;