Boise State Accepts At-Large Bid To MAACO Bowl Las Vegas XIX

Broncos to make first Las Vegas appearance since the Bicentennial


LAS VEGAS - As part of a highly sought matchup of teams boasting an undefeated record in four BCS games, No. 10/10 (AP/Coaches) Boise State will make its first-ever appearance in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas when the high-powered Broncos face No. 20/19 Utah on Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. PT, Executive Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy announced Sunday.

Boise State, which rose to as high as third in both polls last month, is 11-1 overall and tied for the Western Athletic Conference championship at 7-1. The Broncos filled an at-large spot in the game after the Pac-10 Conference failed to provide an eligible team.

Head coach Chris Petersen's squad will be the first WAC representative to appear in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas since Fresno State lost to Utah 17-16 in 1999. Boise State has played in Las Vegas three times ? all against UNLV -- with the last appearance coming in 1976.

As part of the second consecutive MAACO Bowl Las Vegas to feature two ranked teams, the Broncos will face the Utes (10-2/7-1) from the Mountain West Conference for the first time since 2006. Boise State leads the all-time series between the two 4-2. Each school is 2-0 in BCS games as the Broncos boasts a pair of Fiesta Bowl wins (2007 and 2010) and Utah won both a Fiesta (2005) and a Sugar Bowl (2009).

''We welcome Boise State to our game for the first time and by pairing two powerhouse western programs in the Broncos and Utah Utes, our committee just put together one of the top matchups of the entire bowl season,'' Kunzer-Murphy. ''This is the one everyone wanted and we expect a full house later this month to see two ranked teams playing their final game as members of their respective conferences (Boise State joins the Mountain West in 2011 while Utah moves to the Pac-10).''

The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, which is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), will be televised nationally on ESPN HD. Last year's game attracted 40,018 fans, which marked the fifth consecutive sellout crowd as No. 15 BYU defeated No. 16 Oregon State 44-20 in the first meeting of two ranked teams at the annual event.

Tickets for the 2010 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas are on sale now and this year include complimentary transportation from the two host hotels to and from Sam Boyd Stadium. Prices of remaining tickets are $35, $55 and $100 and can be reserved by phone at 1-866-388-FANS, online at www.unlvtickets.com or in person at the Thomas & Mack Center box office. For information on sponsorship opportunities and corporate ticket packages, call (702) 732-3912 or log on to www.maacobowllv.com.


BOISE STATE DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS GENE BLEYMAIER:

''On behalf of Boise State University, I want to thank executive director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and her staff in selecting the Broncos for this year's game. The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas committee and the city of Las Vegas have a reputation for hosting great bowl games and we are look forward to experiencing their hospitality firsthand. Boise State has been fortunate to attend several different bowl games over the past decade, and we know this will be another outstanding bowl experience for our team and fans.''


BOISE STATE HEAD COACH CHRIS PETERSEN:

''We are very excited upon our selection to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Our team is looking forward to another great bowl experience and the opportunity of finishing our season against another nationally ranked opponent. Utah has one of the top programs in the country and has proven that again this season. Coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff do a great job in preparing their team and we look forward to the challenge.''


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ESPN Regional Television

The nation's largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the nation's largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events and holds ownership of several sporting events. ERT, based in Charlotte, N.C., is also the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network and the syndication rights holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. ? BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, SEC, WAC).