Frisco welcomes Hens, Eagles for NCAA championship game
UD defensive lineman Siddiq Haynes talks to the press.
Coach K.C. Keeler addresses the Hens during a practice in Frisco, Texas.
The Hens post for a team picture at Pizza Hut Park.
Elementary school students cheer on the Hens.


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12:07 p.m., Jan. 6, 2011----The city of Frisco, Texas, has welcomed the University of Delaware and Eastern Washington University football teams as they prepare for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision title game to be played at 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 7, at Pizza Hut Park. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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The Fightin' Blue Hens and Eagles took part in a joint event -- the Great Texas Barbecue Bowl -- on Wednesday evening at the Frisco Conference Center.

The event featured food provided by Randy White's Hall of Fame BBQ, with White, a former Delaware high school star who went on to standout careers at the University of Maryland and with the Dallas Cowboys. The teams received complimentary bandanas and lessons in the art of the lasso.

Earlier in the day the Hens had practice and a team photo at Pizza Hut Park, which is the home of FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, and visited J.W. and Ruth Christie Elementary School for a pep rally. The students and teachers had made Blue Hens signs and banners, heard from UD head coach K.C. Keeler and senior defensive lineman Siddiq Haynes, and cheered on the Hens.

Haynes had returned from the Sugar Bowl, where he took part in special activities as captain of the Good Works Team sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association. He is writing a blog for about the championship week experiences.

Also at the school, it was noted that Keeler is a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which honors college football coaches who demonstrate responsibility and excellence on and off the field.

Upon arrival in Frisco on Tuesday, the Hens were greeted by Embassy Suites hotel staff decked out in Blue and Gold.

UD fans can follow the Hens at:

UD Blue Hens on Twitter
UD in Photos championship week central
Championship week videos

Watch parties planned on campus, around country

The UD campus community is invited to an NCAA football national championship watch party to be held beginning at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 7, in the Multipurpose Room of the Trabant University Center.

The event, which will be hosted by Athletics and Recreation Services and UD Student Centers, is open to all UD students, faculty and staff. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

The Office of Alumni Relations has announced more than three dozen watch parties around the country. For the latest on alumni game-related events, see the UDconnection website.

The teams

Led by Keeler, the Blue Hens advanced to the title game with a 27-10 victory over Georgia Southern University on Dec. 18 at Delaware Stadium.

UD, which is 12-2, features senior quarterback Pat Devlin, who has completed 239 of 350 passes for 2,812 yards and 22 touchdowns, freshman running back Andrew Pierce, who has rushed for 1,582 yards and 13 touchdowns, and a stout defense that has allowed opponents just 11.5 points per game.

Devlin has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 22 in Orlando, Fla.

Ranked No. 1, Eastern Washington is also 12-2 and reached the championship game with a 41-31 victory over Villanova, which like Delaware is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Villanova defeated the Hens 28-21 in a conference game played Nov. 20.

The Eagles are coached by Beau Baldwin and feature junior quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, a native of Texas, freshman running back Mario Brown and senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt. All America running back Taiwan Jones has a broken foot and is doubtful for the game.