2023 Servpro First Responder Bowl
14th First Responder Bowl
1234 Total
Texas State 1410147 45
Rice 71400 21
DateDecember 26, 2023
Season2023
StadiumGerald J. Ford Stadium
LocationUniversity Park, Texas
MVPBrian Holloway (LB, Texas State)[1]
FavoriteTexas State by 4.5[2]
RefereeEd Ardito (CUSA)[3]
Attendance26,542[4]
United States TV coverage
NetworkESPN
AnnouncersDave Neal (play-by-play), Aaron Murray (analyst), and Morgan Uber (sideline)
International TV coverage
NetworkESPN Deportes
First Responder Bowl
 < 2022  2024 > 

The 2023 First Responder Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 26, 2023, at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in University Park, Texas. The 14th annual First Responder Bowl featured the Texas State Bobcats of the Sun Belt Conference and the Rice Owls of the American Athletic Conference (The American). The game began at approximately 4:30 p.m. CST and was aired on ESPN. It was one of the 2023–24 bowl games concluding the 2023 FBS football season. Sponsored by cleanup and restoration company Servpro, the game was officially known as the Servpro First Responder Bowl.

Teams

The game featured the Texas State Bobcats of the Sun Belt Conference and the Rice Owls of the American Athletic Conference (The American).

This was the fifth meeting between Texas State and Rice; the series was tied at 2–2 entering the game.[5] This was the first appearance in a First Responder Bowl for both teams.

Texas State Bobcats

Main article: 2023 Texas State Bobcats football team

The Bobcats entered the game with a 7–5 record (4–4 in the Sun Belt), tied for second place in their conference's West Division. After starting their season with four wins in their first five games, the Bobcats lost four of their final seven games.

This was the first bowl game in the football program history of Texas State.[6]

Rice Owls

Main article: 2023 Rice Owls football team

The Owls entered the game with a 6–6 record (4–4 in The American), tied for fifth place in the conference. After starting their season 4–3, the Owls had a three game losing streak, then won their final two games to become bowl eligible.

JT Daniels began the season as Rice's starting quarterback, but left the Owls' week nine game against SMU on November 1 with a concussion after taking a shot to the helmet in the second quarter.[7] A month later, on December 1, Daniels announced that he would be retiring from football due to the multiple concussions he sustained during his career.[8][9][10]

Game summary

2023 Servpro First Responder Bowl
Period 1 2 34Total
Texas State 14 10 14745
Rice 7 14 0021

at Gerald J. Ford StadiumDallas, Texas

  • Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2023
  • Game time: 4:30 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Sunny • Temperature: 55 °F (13 °C) • Wind: 11 mph (18 km/h) SW
  • Game attendance: 26,542
  • Referee: Ed Ardito
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Dave Neal (play-by-play), Aaron Murray (analyst), and Morgan Uber (sideline)
  • Box score
Game information
First Quarter
  • (13:25) TXST – Jahmyl Jeter 29 yard run, Mason Shipley kick (Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 1:35; Texas State 7–0)
  • (6:54) RICE – Luke McCaffrey 7 yard pass from A. J. Padgett, Tim Horn kick (Drive: 8 plays, 42 yards, 3:38; Tied 7–7)
  • (3:22) TXST – Jahmyl Jeter 1 yard run, Mason Shipley kick (Drive: 8 plays, 85 yards, 3:32; Texas State 14–0)
Second Quarter
  • (14:36) TXST – Brian Holloway 36 yard interception return, Mason Shipley kick (Texas State 21–7)
  • (6:07) RICE – Dean Connors 3 yard run, Tim Horn kick (Drive: 11 plays, 77 yards, 5:47; Texas State 21–14)
  • (3:40) RICE – Dean Connors 28 yard run, Tim Horn kick (Drive: 3 plays, 58 yards, 1:24; Tied 21–21)
  • (0:00) TXST – Mason Shipley 31 yard field goal (Drive: 15 plays, 61 yards, 3:40; Texas State 24–21)
Third Quarter
  • (9:57) TXST – Nash Jones 3 yard run, Mason Shipley kick (Drive: 10 plays, 30 yards, 5:03; Texas State 31–21)
  • (8:16) TXST – Brian Holloway 48 yard interception return, Mason Shipley kick (Texas State 38–21)
Fourth Quarter
  • (2:01) TXST – Jahmyl Jeter 1 yard run, Mason Shipley kick (Drive: 3 plays, 38 yards, 1:14; Texas State 45–21)
Statistics TXST RICE
First downs 15 18
Plays–yards 71–300 57–197
Rushes–yards 42–148 31–82
Passing yards 152 112
Passing: comp–att–int 15–29–0 13–26–5
Time of possession 28:45 28:31
Team Category Player Statistics
Texas State Passing T. J. Finley 15/29, 152 yards
Rushing Ismail Mahdi 24 carries, 122 yards
Receiving Ashtyn Hawkins 3 receptions, 55 yards
Rice Passing A. J. Padgett 10/21, 85 yards, TD, 3 INT
Rushing Dean Connors 15 carries, 64 yards, 2 TD
Receiving Elijah Mojarro 3 receptions, 35 yards

References

  1. ^ @JacobHRichman (December 27, 2023). "And Brian Holloway is indeed the MVP of the First Responder Bowl" (Tweet). Retrieved December 26, 2023 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Parks, James (December 11, 2023). "College football bowl schedule, game odds, point spreads for 2023-24". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  3. ^ Austro, Ben (December 3, 2023). "2023-24 bowl officiating assignments". footballzebras.com. Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  4. ^ @FRBowl (December 27, 2023). "26,542 is the attendance @frbowl Highest for the bowl game since it's been played at SMU" (Tweet). Retrieved December 26, 2023 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Winsipedia – Texas State Bobcats vs. Rice Owls". Winsipedia.com. Retrieved December 8, 2023.
  6. ^ Gates, Billy (December 3, 2023). "Texas State selected to play in Servpro First Responder Bowl, 1st bowl game in program history". KXAN-TV. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  7. ^ Dean, Richard (November 1, 2023). "Rice falls short against SMU, lose QB JT Daniels to injury". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  8. ^ "Rice QB JT Daniels to medically retire from football". 247Sports.com. December 1, 2023.
  9. ^ "Ex-USC, Georgia QB JT Daniels Retires from Football Due to Concussion History". Syndication.BleacherReport.com. December 1, 2023.
  10. ^ "Breaking: Former Bulldogs Quarterback JT Daniels Medically Retires From Football". SI.com. December 1, 2023.