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Ole Miss to open 2018 football season against Texas Tech

Ole Miss will open the 2018 football season against a Power Five opponent.

The Rebels will play Texas Tech in the sixth installment of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff at Houston’s NRG Stadium to begin that season, the school announced Friday. It will be the sixth all-time meeting between the schools.

“We are excited to be part of this great event and play a tradition-rich opponent like Texas Tech,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in a statement. “In our scheduling process, we seek out marquee matchups at premier venues, and this is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our program on a grand stage. Houston and the state of Texas have become quite the hot bed for Rebel Nation, and we know our fans will continue our stellar reputation of supporting our team and filling up NRG Stadium.”

It will be the third consecutive year for Ole Miss to play a Power Five foe as part of its non-conference schedule since the Southeastern Conference implemented a rule requiring its teams to do so. Ole Miss opened the 2016 season with a 45-34 loss to Florida State and will travel to California for the third game of the upcoming season.

Texas Tech went 5-7 in 2016 and finished tied for sixth in the Big 12 with a 3-6 league mark. Ole Miss holds a 3-2 advantage in the series and won the most recent matchup in the 2009 Cotton Bowl.

“We look forward to welcoming the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Ole Miss Rebels and their respective passionate fan bases to NRG Stadium in Houston for the 2018 edition of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, signifying the start of the college football season,” Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes said in a statement.

Texas Tech rounds out a non-conference schedule in 2018 that includes Southern Illinois, Kent State and Louisiana-Monroe.

Cal will make the return trip to Oxford in 2019 as part of a home-and-home series. Ole Miss has yet to schedule a Power Five opponent for the 2020 or 2021 seasons. Other Power Five teams the Rebels have on future schedules are Georgia Tech (2022 and 2023) and Wake Forest (2024 and 2025).

Ole Miss will open the 2017 season at home against South Alabama on Sept. 2.