2008 Independence - Profiles, History & More
Northern Illinois DE Larry English
Northern Illinois DE Larry English
Posted Dec 19, 2008

Player profiles, team history, the breakout players, the best bowl moments and more for the 2008 Independence Bowl.

2008 Independence Bowl Profiles & History

Louisiana Tech (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (6-6)

Dec. 28, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

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Scroll Down For Each Team's Bowl History

Independence Bowl History
2007 Alabama 30, Colorado 24
2006 Oklahoma St 34, Alabama 31
2005 South Carolina 38, Missouri 31
2004 Iowa State 17, Miami-Ohio 13
2003 Arkansas 27, Missouri 14
2002 Mississippi 27, Nebraska 23
2001 Alabama 14, Iowa State 13
2000 Miss St. 43, Texas A&M 41
1999 Mississippi 27, Oklahoma 25
1998 Mississippi 35, Texas Tech 18
1997 LSU 27, Notre Dame 9
1996 Auburn 32, Army 29
1995 LSU 45, Michigan St 26
1994 Virginia 20, TCU 10
1993 Virginia Tech 45, Indiana 20
1992 Wake Forest 39, Oregon 35
1991 Georgia 24, Arkansas 15
1990 Louisiana Tech 34, Maryland 34
1989 Oregon 27, Tulsa 24
1988 Southern Miss 38, UTEP 18
1987 Washington 24, Tulane 12
1986 Mississippi 20, Texas Tech 17
1985 Minnesota 20, Clemson 13
1984 Air Force 23, Virginia Tech 7
1983 Air Force 9, Mississippi 3
1982 Wisconsin 14, Kansas State 3
1981 Texas A&M 33, Oklahoma St 16
1980 Southern Miss 16, McNeese State 14
1979 Syracuse 31, McNeese State 14
1978 East Carolina 35, Louisiana Tech 13
1977 Louisiana Tech 24, Louisville 14
1976 McNeese State 20, Tulsa 16

By Richard Cirminiello

Best Huskie Bowl Moment: There wasn’t much drama or many style points, but Northern Illinois’ 34-21 win over Troy in the 2004 Silicon Valley Classic was a landmark victory for a program that was breaking a 21-year postseason dry spell

Best Bulldog Bowl Moment: Louisiana Tech’s bowl history consists of four appearances and just a single victory more than three decades ago. Bulldog QB Keith Thibodeaux was the game’s MVP, throwing two touchdown passes in a 21-point first quarter outburst. Tech held on for a 24-14 victory to finish the season 9-1-2.

The Last Time You'll See ...

Northern Illinois: DE Larry English. One of the most decorated players in program history, English was recently named the MAC Player of the Year for the second straight season. Although a tweener at 6-3 and 255 pounds, he’s got the burst and natural athleticism that have garnered plenty of attention from NFL scouts. English enters the final game of his college career with 53.5 tackles for loss and 31.5 sacks.

Louisiana Tech: RB Patrick Jackson. Although Jackson is the second option in the running game to Daniel Porter, he’s been no less valuable to the Bulldog offense. A four-time letterwinner, he’s logged almost 600 carries for 2,815 yards and 29 touchdowns, allowing Jackson to stay fresh and the Tech backfield to essentially remain injury-proof over the last few seasons.

Breakout Player ...

Northern Illinois: QB Chandler Harnish. Injuries to starter Dan Nicholson forced Harnish into an expanded role that he embraced in the final two months of the season. An athletic redshirt freshman, he twice rushed for more than 100 yards and had big games through the air versus Toledo and Kent State. While this wasn’t supposed to be Harnish’s time to shine, the unexpected reps will be a boon to the entire program in 2009.

Louisiana Tech
: WR Phillip Livas. While Livas isn’t very big, his contributions to the Bulldog offense have been enormous. The most versatile and dangerous weapon on the roster, he’s run for 322 yards, caught a team-high 39 passes, scored six times, and is the school’s best special teams player. Now that he’s comfortable in the Tech offense, he can spend the second half of his career making a name for himself outside Ruston.  

Best Non-Game Event
The Pep Rally. Everyone loves it. It’s been the scene of crowds in excess of 30,000 over the last few years. It’s held at the Louisiana Boardwalk, which is an outdoor shopping mall across the Red River in Bossier City, La.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive a Trek Mountain Bike, a New Era baseball cap, a Timely Co. watch, and a souvenir football.

Charitable Component
The bowl coordinates a Military Ticket Initiative in which it offers the area military discounted tickets. It also has a unique program created a few years ago by Media Relations Director Patrick Meehan called the "Kid's Corner Youth Ticket Donation Program". Area businesses and individuals donate tickets to local non-profit organizations in an effort to give kids, who normally would not have the chance, the opportunity to attend the game.
How Success is Measured
Ticket sales, TV ratings, and feedback from visiting fans, the teams, and the media

MVP of the Bowl
While it’s hard to single out one individual, Independence Stadium manager Ronnie Hammond is indispensable to the success of the game. If the bowl handed out a Heisman Trophy, he’d land the hardware.

Impact to the Community
The local economic impact of the game ranges from $12-20 million annually. The Independence Bowl gives the region a chance to showcase Shreveport-Bossier to a national audience via ESPN. Out-of-town visitors, in particular, help local hotels, casinos, restaurants, and other business achieve their annual financial objectives.

Role of Volunteers
Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the event. They are a must. The Independence Bowl relies on hundreds of volunteers each year who form committees and help put on bowl week events, host teams, and provide hospitality to visitors.

Louisiana Tech Bowl History (1-1)
2001 Humanitarian Clemson 49, La Tech 24
1990 Independence La Tech 34, Maryland 24
No. Illinois Bowl History (2-1)
2006 Poinsettia TCU 37, NIU 7
2004 Silicon Valley NIU 34, Troy 21
1983 California NIU 20, Cal State Fullerton 13

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