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HOUSTONThe Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B college football event between Stephen F. Austin State University and Sam Houston State University will not be played at NRG Stadium in 2020, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment (LSSE) and the schools announced today. The matchup between the two schools dates back to 1923, making it the fourth-oldest college football rivalry in the state of Texas.


All parties look forward to this great rivalry returning to NRG Stadium in 2021.


LSU Game Cancelled

LSU Game Cancelled

Rice University Football 7/30/2020 3:50:00 PM By: Chuck Pool (

The first meeting between Rice and LSU in football in Houston since 1983 has been cancelled due to a decision by the Southeastern Conference to reduce schedules to 10 conference games for 2020 season. The Owls and Tigers had been set to meet at 2:30 on September 19 at NRG Stadium.

"I'm disappointed we will not be able to play LSU this season, but given the current situation, it was not unexpected," Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard said. "I know our fans have anticipated hosting LSU for the first time in nearly 40 years since we announced it in 2016 and that excitement only grew after LSU won the national title last year. We will work with LSU to see if there is an opportunity in a future season to reschedule the game."

Fans who purchased advance tickets through Ticketmaster, the Rice Ticket office or the NRG box office will be contacted in the coming week regarding refund procedures. Fans who purchased through the LSU ticket office should contact them for information on refunds.  

The Owls and Tigers were looking to resume their series in Houston that began in 1915 when Rice defeated LSU 6-0 at West End Park in Houston.

Rice is currently scheduled to open the 2020 season on September 3 at the University of Houston and open the home schedule the following week when they welcome Army to Rice Stadium.


2020 Texas Kickoff Featuring Baylor and Ole Miss Moves to Sunday, September 6

Bears’ Dave Aranda Makes Head Coaching Debut; Lane Kiffin’s First Game with Rebels

The 2020 Texas Kickoff featuring Baylor vs. Ole Miss is scheduled to kick off Sunday, Sept. 6, moving from the previously scheduled date of September 5. The game, played at NRG Stadium in Houston, is slated to be part of ESPN’s Labor Day weekend opening schedule, airing on an ESPN network.

The fifth installment of the annual Sunday holiday weekend game will mark Dave Aranda’s head coaching debut at Baylor and Lane Kiffin’s first game with Ole Miss as head coach. Baylor is currently ranked number 25 in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 Rankings.

“ESPN’s Sunday game during kickoff weekend has quickly developed into a strong franchise,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of programming and ESPN Events. “We look forward to continuing that success as we feature two head coaches in their inaugural games with two great programs. We want to thank the schools and our Texas Kickoff team for recognizing this unique opportunity.”

Fans interested in tickets for the event can visit and sign up for the Priority Wait List to receive the most up to date information for when single game tickets and suites will be released.  Tickets are also available through Baylor Athletics and Ole Miss Athletics via their ticket offices.

Kickoff time and network designation for the matchup will be available at a later date. ESPN’s early-season college football schedule will be announced in the coming weeks as conferences and television networks continue to prepare for the college football season.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.


Media contacts


ESPN Events: Anna Negron at or 860-256-1757
Texas Kickoff: Allie LeClair at or 832-919-0655


Rice and LSU set for afternoon kickoff

HOUSTON: Rice and LSU will line up for an afternoon meeting on September 19 at NRG Stadium as kickoff for the first meeting between the two schools in Houston since 1983 has been set for 2:30 p.m. to accommodate television scheduling.

Final broadcast details for the game will be announced in the near future.

Tickets for the defending national champion's first regular season appearance in Houston since facing the Owls in 1983 will go on a sale on Friday, May 15 with a portion of ticket sales between now and the end of May benefiting COVID-19 relief efforts in Houston.

Tickets start as low as $35 and will be available online on Friday, however interested fans can sign up for a special pre-sale on Thursday by registering in advance.

The Owls and Tigers will resume their series in Houston that began in 1915. This will be the 57th meeting between the two schools overall. The schools met continuously from 1932-52 and then again from 1955-83 and renewed the series in 2018 when Rice traveled to Baton Rouge. This will be the first time Rice has hosted a defending national champion since 2006 when the Owls hosted Texas at then-Reliant Stadium.
Season tickets for the Owls 2020 campaign, which include the Rice-LSU game as well as six games at Rice Stadium, are also currently on sale.

 By Chuck Pool (



29 LSSE Event Alumni Drafted

Each college football game played on the field at NRG Stadium features future NFL stars, they just don’t know it yet. This year, 29 players from LSSE events were drafted to the NFL and more have now been signed as undrafted free agents.

Texas A&M – Texas Bowl 2019, Texas Bowl 2016

1. Justin Madubuike – Baltimore Ravens – Round 3, Pick 71

2. Braden Mann – New York Jets – Round 6, Pick 191

Texas – Rice vs UT 2019, Texas Bowl 2017

3. Brandon Jones – Miami Dolphins – Round 3, pick 70

4. Devin Duvernay – Baltimore Ravens – Round 3, Pick92

5. Collin Johnson – Jacksonville Jaguars – Round 5, Pick 165

Houston – Texas Kickoff 2019

6. Josh Jones – Arizona Cardinals – Round 3, Pick 72

Washington State - Texas Kickoff 2019

7. Dezmon Patmon – Indianapolis Colts – Round 6, Pick 212

Baylor – Texas Bowl 2018

8. Denzel Mims – New York Jets – Round 2, Pick 59

9. James Lynch – Minnesota Vikings – Round 4, Pick 130

10. Bravvion Roy – Carolina Panthers – Round 6, Pick 184

11. Clay Johnston – Los Angeles Rams – Round 7, Pick 234

Vanderbilt – Texas Bowl 2018

12. Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Round 3, Pick 76

Texas Tech – Texas Kickoff 2018

13. Jordyn Brooks – Seattle Seahawks – Round 1, Pick 27

14. Broderick Washington Jr. – Baltimore Ravens – Round 5, Pick 170

Missouri – Texas Bowl 2017

15. Jordan Elliott – Cleveland Browns – Round 3, Pick 88

16. Albert Okwuegbunam – Denver Broncos – Round 4, Pick 118

LSU – Texas Kickoff 2017

17. K’Lavon Chaisson – Jacksonville Jaguars – Round 1, Pick 20

18. Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings – Round 1, Pick 22

19. Patrick Queen – Baltimore Ravens – Round 1, Pick 28

20. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – Round 1, Pick 32

21. Grant DeLpit – Cleveland Browns – Round 2, Pick 44

22. Kristian Fulton – Tennessee Titans – Round 2, Pick 61

23. Lloyd Cushenberry – Denver Broncos – Round 3, Pick 83

24. Jacob Phillips – Cleveland Browns – Round 3, Pick 97

25. Saahdiq Charles – Washington Redskins – Round 4, pick 108

26. Rashard Lawrence – Arizona Cardinals – Round 4, Pick 131

27. Blake Ferguson – Miami Dolphins – Round 6, Pick 185

28. Stephen Sullivan – Seattle Seahawks – Round 7, Pick 251

Oklahoma – Texas Kickoff 2016

29. Neville Gallimore – Dallas Cowboys – Round 3, Pick 82


Get your college football fix this fall at NRG Stadium and don’t miss your chance to see the NFL stars of the future while they wear their college uniforms.


2020 Texas Kickoff: Ole Miss vs Baylor, September 5

Rice vs LSU, September 19

95th Battle of the Piney Woods: SFA vs Sam Houston State, October 3

2020 Texas Bowl: teams announced in December, December 2020