BYU To Meet UCLA In 2007 Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
Cougars and Bruins to stage
rematch at Sam Boyd Stadium on Dec. 22
Las Vegas - Mountain West Conference champion BYU will make its third consecutive trip to the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl when it faces Pacific-10 Conference representative UCLA as both teams Sunday accepted invitations to the game, which will be played Saturday, December 22 at 5 p.m. PT.
Both teams are 1-1 all-time in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. The Cougars (10-2/8-0), who were ranked 17th in Sunday's final BCS standings, won last year's Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl 38-8 over Oregon while the Bruins (6-6/5-4), who were ranked as high as 11th in the nation earlier this season, will be making their first trip since 2004 and third overall.
The game will be a rematch of a regular-season meeting between the two storied programs as UCLA downed BYU 27-17 in Los Angeles back on Sept. 8.
The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, which is an ESPN Regional Television (ERT) owned-and-operated event, will once again be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPNHD. Last year, the 15th annual Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl attracted a crowd of 44,615 fans, which was the largest to ever watch a team sporting event in the state of Nevada. The 2005 game between BYU and Cal produced the first sellout in the game's history by attracting a crowd of 40,053.
Since the first Las Vegas Bowl was played in 1992, six of the current nine MWC teams have appeared in the game a combined 11 times, compiling a 6-5 record.
The MWC and Pac-10 have faced each other the last six seasons with each league winning three times. Overall, Pac-10 teams have a 4-3 record in the annual event.
''A rematch of BYU and UCLA, both teams that have spent time in the national rankings this season, will bring two of the biggest names in college football to Las Vegas for what is sure to be a memorable battle,'' Executive Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said. ''We are delighted another sell-out crowd will be on hand at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 22nd to watch the 16th edition of the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl.''
BYU ATHLETICS DIRECTOR TOM HOLMOE:
"We are excited about our football team and the great things it has accomplished over the past three seasons. Coach Mendenhall, his staff and the players deserve a tremendous amount of credit for getting this program where it is today and as a result, we're excited to be participating in our third straight bowl game."
BYU HEAD COACH BRONCO MENDENHALL:
"After losing some very talented players and so much of the leadership from last year's team, there were a lot of people who may have underestimated our program. Making our third trip to the Las Vegas Bowl -- twice as conference champions, with a new group of players, a new group of leadership, I think is a testament to the kind of young men we have here. They deserve a tremendous amount of credit and I couldn't be more proud of them."
UCLA ATHLETICS DIRECTOR DAN GUERRERO:
''We have certainly enjoyed our two previous trips to the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. Our players and staff have thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the various events and the hospitality of Tina Kunzer-Murphy and her staff is second to none. We encourage our fans to come to Las Vegas to support their Bruins.''
UCLA HEAD COACH KARL DORRELL:
"UCLA is extremely happy to be playing in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. Tina Kunzer-Murphy and her committee always do a fantastic job of making the bowl experience first-class for the players and we are looking forward to facing an outstanding opponent in BYU."