Boise State To Face Arizona State In 20th Edition Of Bowl

Broncos, Sun Devils Have Only Met Once Before

LAS VEGAS - The 20th edition of the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas will feature the highest-ranked team in its history facing a first-time visitor as No. 8/6 (AP/Coaches) Boise State of the Mountain West will play Arizona State of the Pac-12 Conference, Executive Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy announced Sunday. The game will be played Thursday, Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. PT, and aired on ESPN and ESPN3.

''We are ecstatic to offer this matchup to help celebrate our historic 20th year,'' Kunzer-Murphy said. ''Boise State fans have shown they love Las Vegas as not only did they help us mark our sixth consecutive sellout a year ago, but they also came down in droves for the Broncos' game vs. UNLV earlier this season. It's also exciting to be the site of the final collegiate game for the sport's winningest quarterback, Kellen Moore.

''We are also thrilled to finally host Arizona State from the Pac-12 side. The Sun Devils are a traditionally marquee program that we know is excited about playing in its first bowl game in four years. ASU has a strong following in Southern Nevada and their campus is just over 300 miles away from Las Vegas so we expect to see a lot of maroon and gold in the stands on December 22. I would like to thank our committee for again putting together such a great matchup.''

For the second straight year, Boise State comes into the bowl at 11-1 overall as the Broncos finished 6-1 in conference play in their first season as part of the Mountain West. In 2010, head coach Chris Petersen's squad was ranked 10/10 (the previous record) when it filled an at-large spot out of the Western Athletic Conference. Boise State defeated Utah 26-3 in front of the second-largest crowd in the event's history at 41,923.

''We are excited about returning to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and to again face a tough opponent like Arizona State,'' Petersen said. ''We had a great bowl experience last year and I know the hospitality for our team and fans will again be outstanding. This senior class is excited about playing in another bowl and they will work hard in getting the team ready for the game.''

Despite its close proximity to Las Vegas, Arizona State (6-6 overall /4-5 Pac-12) will be making its first appearance in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. It will mark the first postseason trip for the Sun Devils since playing in the 2007 Holiday Bowl and also the final game at the school for fifth-year head coach Dennis Erickson.

''The goal at the beginning of the year for any college football team is to play in a bowl game,'' said Erickson. ''I am so proud of our players and my coaching staff. We are grateful to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and the city of Las Vegas for giving us this opportunity. We are honored to be a part of it. We are playing one of the nation's top teams in Boise State as well.''

This will mark only the second meeting of the two teams as then-fifth-ranked ASU defeated Boise State 56-7 on Oct. 5, 1996, in Tempe.

The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT). Tickets for the 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas are priced at $25, $35, $55 and $100 and can be reserved by phone at 1-866-388-3267 or 1-702-739-3267, online at or in person at the Thomas & Mack Center box office. For information on sponsorship opportunities and corporate ticket packages, call 1-702- 732-3912.

ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation's largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,200 sporting events. Content includes action from NCAA football, basketball and Olympic sports, NHRA and professional and amateur golf, accounting for more than 3,400 live and/or original hours of programming. ERT's owned and operated events reach over a million fans a year and provides more than 200 additional hours of programming.

In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC) and manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events:
Collegiate Football
Beef ?O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu); Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Houston); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.) and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards
Collegiate Basketball
76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); State Farm Champions Classic (Madison Square Garden; debuts 2011); DIRECTV Charleston Classic presented by Foster Grant (S.C.); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); 5-hour ENERGY Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and Sears BracketBusters
Collegiate Lacrosse
ESPNU Warrior Classic
Additional Events
Hawaiian Islands Invitational (Soccer) and ESPN National Golf Challenge

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Contact: Rachel Margolis, ESPN at 860-766-2798 or; Mark Wallington, MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at 702-528-6291 or