The matchup we have been speculating and reporting about for a week or so has come to fruition as the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas has made it officially official that it will feature Washington and Boise State. Here’s the official release from the bowl. And here’s the official release from UW.
The game is Saturday, Dec. 22 at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN.
It’ll be UW’s third bowl game in the last three years under coach Steve Sarkisian, who is 1-1 in bowls — a 19-7 win over Nebraska in the 2010 Holiday and a 67-56 loss to Baylor in the 2011 Alamo.
The Vegas Bowl had the No. 5 pick among the seven bowls that have contracts with the Pac-12 and picked the Huskies ahead of Arizona State (which went to the Kraft Fight Hunger) and Arizona (New Mexico) — all three finished at 7-5 along with USC, which was picked one spot ahead of UW to the Sun Bowl.
It’ll be just the second time UW has played Boise State, the first a 24-10 Washington win in Seattle in 2007.
It will also be the first UW game in Nevada and the first time it has played a bowl game prior to Christmas since the 1987 Independence (a 24-12 win over Tulane on Dec. 19).
And as has been noted often, it will be the first of three games against Boise State over the next four years. Boise State will play at UW to open the 2013 season on Aug. 31 at Husky Stadium, and Washington is scheduled to play a return game at Boise State on Sept. 19, 2015.
Boise State finished the season 10-2 and ranked 20th in the final regular season Associated Press poll. The Broncos were 7-1 in the Mountain West Conference and tied for first with Fresno State and San Diego State. But the Vegas Bowl had the first pick of MWC teams and sided with the Broncos.
It will be the third straight year Boise State has played in the Vegas Bowl, and it will be going for a third win in a row, having beaten Utah 26-3 in 2010 and Arizona State last season 56-24.
The Las Vegas Bowl dates to 1992 (here’s a history) and has had a tie-in with the Pac-12 since 2009, a contract that runs through 2013.
As for some reference material, here is a schedule of events and how to get tickets through the bowl. Here is Boise State’s official NCAA stats page, the football front page of its official website, its official roster and its depth chart for Saturday’s win over Nevada. Here is the Bronco Beat blog from the Idaho Statesman.
And finally, here is some info on the site of the game, Sam Boyd Stadium, including directions.