By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State football team will return to Las Vegas for its bowl game.
The Broncos (11-1, 6-1 MW) will face Arizona State (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12) of the Pac-12 on Dec. 22 in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. The game begins at 6 p.m. MST on ESPN.
Boise State beat Utah 26-3 in that game last year.
Arizona State was 6-2 at one point and spent several weeks in the Top 25 but lost its last four games. Coach Dennis Erickson has been fired but is expected to coach the bowl game.
Virginia Tech apparently beat out Boise State for the last at-large berth in the BCS. The Hokies are going to the Sugar Bowl.
The Broncos finished at No. 7 in the BCS Standings. This is the fourth time the Broncos have finished in the top 10 without getting a BCS bowl invite. They were No. 10 in 2010, No. 9 in 2008 and No. 9 in 2004.
Boise State played in the 2007 (No. 8) and 2010 (No. 6) Fiesta Bowls.
Arizona State hasn’t played in the MAACO Bowl before. Boise State hasn’t played the Sun Devils since a 56-7 loss in 1996 in Tempe, Ariz.
Here are the statements in the press release:
“We are ecstatic to offer this matchup to help celebrate our historic 20th year,'' executive director Tina 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.''
Boise State coach Chris Petersen: ''We are excited about returning to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and to again face a tough opponent like Arizona State. 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.''
Erickson: ''The goal at the beginning of the year for any college football team is to play in a bowl game. 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.''
Here’s the ticket info:
Tickets for the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas are on sale at www.idahotickets.com, and season ticketholders can log on through their season ticket account. Those with season tickets are asked to please check their e-mail for more details, as the season ticketholder priority deadline ends Wednesday at 5 p.m.
All tickets for MAACO Bowl Las Vegas are $62, and parking is $10, payable at the gate. RV parking is also $10, and there is no overnight parking available.
In conjunction with the bowl game, there were also be a Bronco Tailgate Party at the stadium put on by the Boise State Alumni Association and the Bronco Athletic Association from 2-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $40, and will include barbeque chicken, baby back ribs and a no-host bar, in addition to performances by the Harvey Neef Mane Line Dancers, Bronco Cheer and the Boise State University band.
The Boise State Athletic Ticket Office is open tonight from 6-9 p.m. The ticket office will also be open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday and Tuesday. For more information, please call 426-4737.
Mountain West bowl matchups:
Poinsettia: TCU vs. Louisiana Tech
New Orleans: San Diego State vs. Louisiana Lafayette
Military: Air Force vs. Toledo
New Mexico: Wyoming vs. Temple