LAS VEGAS – The University of Houston (9-3) has accepted an at-large invitation and will face Mountain West champion San Diego State (10-3) in the 25th edition of the Las Vegas Bowl, Executive Director John Saccenti announced Sunday. The game will be played Saturday, Dec. 17, at 12:30 p.m. PT, and aired on ABC.
The Cougars, who were ranked as high as No. 5 in the Coaches Poll this season, will fill the Pac-12 Conference spot in this year’s matchup. Houston, which became the first team in the nation this year to defeat two teams ranked in the top five (then-No. 3 Oklahoma and then-No. 3 Louisville), is the first member of the American Athletic Conference to be invited to play in the Las Vegas Bowl.
This marks the first year that the Las Vegas Bowl will feature a team from the state of Texas. Houston has played in Las Vegas once before as the Cougars defeated UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium in 1989.
“This is a special year for the Las Vegas Bowl and we have a special matchup to go with it on December 17,” Saccenti said. “Houston is one of college football’s most exciting teams and we are excited to be able to match the Cougars against a 10-win conference champion in San Diego State. It will be our first Texas team playing a program that hasn’t been in our game since 1998 so our entire city is looking forward to celebrating our 25th year with these two great programs and their fans.”
San Diego State earned its invitation on Saturday night after defeating Wyoming 27-24 in the MW Championship. This will mark just the third meeting between the Aztecs and Houston but the first since 1973. The Cougars lead the all-time series 2-0.
San Diego State, which Saturday avenged a regular-season loss to the Cowboys, will make its second appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl and the first since 1998 when it fell to North Carolina 20-13. The Aztecs are led by Las Vegas native and Canyon Springs High School graduate Donnel Pumphrey, who will come into the bowl needing 108 yards to surpass Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (6,397 in 1996-99) as college football’s all-time leading rusher.
Tickets for the 25th Las Vegas Bowl range in price from $45-$120, depending on location. Visit www.lvbowl.com to purchase or for more information. PrimeSport, where fans can buy and sell official tickets with other fans, is the official ticket exchange provider of the Las Vegas Bowl. Last year’s edition saw No. 22 Utah defeat BYU 35-28 in front of a crowd of 42,213, which marked the eighth sellout in the last 11 years.
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