ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Travels Returns to Austin for Longhorn’s Lone Star Showdown with No. 4 TCU

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ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Travels Returns to Austin for Longhorn’s Lone Star Showdown with No. 4 TCU

  • GameDay’s ninth trip to Austin, Texas, and second this season
  • PGA TOUR Player and former UT golfer Jordan Spieth joins as guest picker

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot returns to Austin, Texas, for the second time this season ahead of the Lone Star State showdown between No. 18 Texas and undefeated No. 4 TCU. The show will be live from the LBJ Library Lawn on campus and will air from 9 a.m. – noon ET on Saturday, Nov. 12 (ESPN and ESPNU, ESPN App). The in-state matchup will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

Rece Davis leads the show in his eighth season as host and is joined at the desk by GameDay analysts Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Pat McAfee and David Pollack. Reporters Jen Lada, Gene Wojciechowski and newcomer Jess Sims, along with research producer Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica and college football insider Pete Thamel, round out the GameDay crew for the season.

GameDay’s visit to Athens last week registered the show’s second-best audience of the season, scoring 2.24 million viewers and nearly 3 million viewers in the final hour. The audience was up 22% year-over-year (2021 Week 10: Cincinnati), and the prelude to Tennessee and Georgia’s Game of the Century is one of GameDay’s top-10 most-watched episodes since it expanded to three hours in 2013. Through 10 weeks, the show is off to its best 10-week start ever.

Scheduled Features & Highlights

  • 49-Year-Old Freshman– Forty-nine-year-old Ray Ruschel spent nearly 17 years on active duty in the Army and the Army National Guard, including a deployment during the Afghanistan War, where the decorated sergeant saw combat action on patrol missions. But earlier this year, the now-industrial mechanic for a sugar beet factory in North Dakota decided to defy his family and Father Time. He decided to play college football. (Reporter: Gene Wojciechowski)
  • Never Too Late – The road that led TCU quarterback Max Duggan to Fort Worth – from an Iowa town built on toughness, grit and hard work – is what has helped him navigate through a number of injuries, a heart condition and losing his starting job in the preseason, to now becoming the quarterback his teammates refer to as the “definition of a football player.” (Jen Lada)
  • They’ve Got the Juice – He has his own dedicated camera on game day, a Twitter account with over 30,000 followers and a growing presence on the Ole Miss campus. Meet the unofficial ambassador of Ole Miss football, Juice Kiffin.
  • Northeast Rivalry – An essay highlighting the best moments of the Washington–Oregon rivalry ahead of Saturday’s I-5 matchup between the No. 24 Huskies and No. 6 (Wojciechowski)

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian will join the show live in Austin while Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer will also chat with the crew ahead of the Fighting Irish’s matchup against Navy.

PGA TOUR player and three-time major champion Jordan Spieth will join the GameDay crew as the Week 11 guest picker. The former UT golfer helped his team win an NCAA championship while being named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year before turning professional in 2012.

Fast Facts from ‘The Bear’

  • This is the first time since 2007 that GameDay will visit two different schools multiple times in the same season (Austin and Knoxville)
  • Saturday marks six years to the day that the show was at the site of USC’s upset over No. 4 Washington, while No. 2 Clemson lost to Pitt and No. 3 Michigan lost at Iowa
  • This marks the 433rd road show for GameDay 

ESPN’s Expanded Digital Coverage
ESPN’s social and digital show, Countdown to GameDay Live will be live from Austin for the Week 11 show. Co-hosted by Christine Williamson, Harry Douglas and Harry Lyles Jr., the pre-pregame show will begin at 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 12 and is available across Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the ESPN App.

Additional GameDay updates can be found via ESPN PR’s Twitter and College GameDay’s Twitter and details throughout the week can be found HERE and on College GameDay’s Hub HERE.


Julie McKay

I joined ESPN in 2022 as a member of the communications department working on college sports. My passion for college sports came at an early age in a divided household (Big Ten Conference-divided, that is) and followed that to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (sorry, Dad). Four years in the Athletic Communications Department, along with internships with the Big Ten Conference, Big Ten Network and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, cemented my career path. After spending some time in sports media PR in San Francisco, I’ve spent five-plus years focused in golf, with stints at the American Junior Golf Association, Augusta National and Buffalo Agency, working with the USGA, Youth on Course and Destination Kohler, among others. Despite being a proud Wisconsin native, I’ll forever betray my home state as a lifelong Chicago sports fan. My dog Rizzo knows there’s always next year and wishes his namesake would return home to the North Side.
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