2011 Texas Bowl: Texas A&M Survives Northwestern's Late Rally, 33-22

The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: what do we call it? Because we're definitely not calling it all that. The Texas Bowl? SI.com: Texas Bowl FAQ.

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2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl Final Score: Texas A&M Staves Off Northwestern Rally, 33-22

Texas A&M tried to give away another big lead. Northwestern's Cardiac Cats tried to stage another comeback. Neither happened in the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl, as the Aggies countered two late Northwestern touchdowns with a field goal to ice a 33-22 victory.

The Aggies, playing little more than a week after the death of offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio and in the last game most of fired head coach Mike Sherman's staff will caoch at A&M, led 30-7 in the fourth quarter, and were on the verge of yet another collapse in a 2011 season full of them after Northwestern scored twice in the period.

But the Aggies came out throwing on their final drive, and Ryan Tannehill — who threw for 329 yards and a touchdown on the day — found Jeff Fuller for a spectacular leaping catch that put Lou Groza Award winner Randy Bullock in position to end Northwestern's comeback attempt with a 31-yard field goal.

Fuller had seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown, while Ryan Swope had eight catches for 105 yards.

Northwestern's Kain Colter had just 13 yards through the air, but threw the Wildcats' only passing touchdown and also scored on the ground while rushing for 65 yards. Dan Persa threw for 213 yards for the Wildcats, who failed to earn their first bowl win since 1949.

For more on the Texas A&M Aggies visit SB Nation's Aggies blog I Am The 12th Man. For more on the Northwestern Wildcats visit SB Nation's Wildcats blog Sippin' On Purple.


Tim DeRuyter, Next Fresno State Coach, Will Work Texas A&M Bowl Game

Tim DeRuyter was scheduled to be introduced as the new Fresno State football coach on Wednesday during an afternoon press conference. DeRuyter is currently serving as the Texas A&M interim coach and will lead the Aggies against Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. He had been the defensive coordinator at A&M for the last two seasons.

DeRuyter will be replacing Pat Hill, who was fired after going 4-9 with the Bulldogs this year. Fresno State missed out on a bowl game for just fourth time during his 15 years there. The bigger problem, though, was that the program seemed to stagnate under Hill, who at one point seemed to have the Bulldogs pointed toward a Boise State-esque existence.

After ending the 2004 season ranked No. 22 in the AP poll and winning the MPC Computers, the Bulldogs went backward. They've only won one bowl since then and finished no higher than third in the Western Athletic Conference in any season since then.

DeRuyter will clearly be expected to get the program headed the other way. Among the more interesting subplots of his coaching tenure will be annual games against Air Force, where he was a player and coach, most recently in 2009.

For more on the Mountain West, be sure to check out Mountain West Connection.


Meineke Car Care Of Texas Bowl 2011: Northwestern Joins Texas A&M In Houston

The Texas A&M Aggies have a bowl game opponent: the Northwestern Wildcats take the Big Ten's bid, to minimal surprise. 

Aggie Football@AggieFootball Texas A&M to play Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston on December 31st. #tamu #gigem

The 2011 Texas Bowl is entering its first year of sponsorship under Meineke and is formally known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Meineke sponsored what is now the Belk Bowl before this season). But the sponsorship for this game has changed repeatedly. It began as the galleryfurniture.com Bowl in 2000 and 2001 before it changed to the EV1.net Houston Bowl. That's four different sponsors in roughly a decade. How long will Meineke last as the sponsor?

Game date, time: 12:00 p.m. MT, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011

Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, Tx.

TV channel: ESPN

2010 winner and loser: Illinois def. Baylor, 38-13

For more on each bowl game as it’s announced, stay tuned to SB Nation’s 2011 college football bowl game bids coverage. And visit our many college football blogs.

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