Chris Petersen isn’t altogether unfamiliar with the Huskies’ Cactus Bowl opponent, Oklahoma State. The first-year Washington coach spent some time as a guest at Oklahoma State a few years ago studying the Cowboys’ offense under coach Mike Gundy.
“I made a pass through there for a day and stopped and watched them practice,” Petersen said Sunday evening, a couple hours after the matchup was announced. “I think (Gundy) has done a wonderful job of building that program. The whole thing — the facilities they have, where they’ve come from and what they’re doing now I think is impressive.”
There seems to be a mutual admiration between the two coaches, both known for offensive innovation.
“We’re up for a great challenge with Washington and coach Petersen. … I have a lot of respect for him,” Gundy told reporters in Stillwater. “So many of (Petersen’s) games (at Boise State) were late at night. I would always run the TV back and write down plays.”
The Huskies and Cowboys have met twice. Oklahoma State won the last meeting, 31-17, in the 1985 season opener at Husky Stadium; UW won their first matchup in 1980, 24-18.
This will be UW’s fifth consecutive bowl-game appearance and first January bowl game since the 2001 Rose Bowl.
The Cactus Bowl was renamed this year, after being called the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl the last two years and the Insight Bowl before that. Kickoff at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PT for an ESPN broadcast.
“I think the location is awesome,” Petersen said. “Who doesn’t want to be heading to Arizona this time of year? I know our coaches and players do, and hopefully at least part of Husky nation wants to come with us.”
More reaction on the bowl matchup from UW senior defensive lineman Andrew Hudson:
And from UW running back Deontae Cooper, who surely had to be the best-dressed player at the team’s banquet Sunday: