Football fans from the Lonestar State are in Alabama this week for the Birmingham Bowl.
Auburn will take on Houston Tuesday at Protective Stadium. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28.
Houston (11-2) and Auburn (6-6) both have a lot to prove and both will face challenges. The Auburn Tigers are seven players down after some opted out of the bowl or transferred post-season.
The Houston Cougars will not have their All-American cornerback, Marcus Jones. Jones opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft.
For Auburn, T.J. Finley will replace injured quarterback Bo Nix. Nix is not only injured but has transferred to Oregon. Cornerback Roger McCreary, one of the best in the country, is also sitting out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Head Coach Bryan Harsin will make offensive calls after the firing of Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo.
While Auburn's bowl appearance will tie a school record for most consecutive years (set from 1982 – 1990), a bowl experience is nothing new to Houston, either. The Cougars have played in 14 bowl games over the past 17 years.
This year's Birmingham Bowl will be held at Protective Stadium for the first time ever. The new 45,000-seat stadium in downtown Birmingham opened in October of this year and is the new home of the UAB Blazers football team.
Over 40,000 fans are expected to be in the Magic City for Tuesday's big game. Some streets surrounding the stadium will be closed but multiple locations will be opened for parking, including the Boutwell Parking Deck.
For more information on Protective Stadium, the Birmingham Bowl, and parking, click here.
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