Dec. 6, 2009
Holiday Bowl Central
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona football program has accepted a bowl invitation to the 2009 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl to be played in San Diego, Calif., on December 30. The No. 22 Wildcats will face No. 20 Nebraska in a rematch of the classic 1998 Holiday Bowl.
The 32nd Holiday Bowl will kick off at 5 p.m. (PST) from Qualcomm Stadium and will be televised live to a national audience on ESPN. Complete game information, including ticket and travel information, can be found here at Arizona's official Holiday Bowl Central page.
"We're thrilled to earn the Holiday Bowl bid the way we did in the last couple weeks, and excited to be in San Diego," UA head coach Mike Stoops said. "Our players have worked tremendously hard all season for a reward like this, and will work hard to show what Arizona and the Pac-10 Conference are all about."
A week of events will lead up to the game on Dec. 30. Festivities for the teams begin on Christmas Day will an official welcome at the team hotels. In the following days, teams will see the sights and sounds at SeaWorld, The World-Famous San Diego Zoo and attend a Navy & Marine Corps Luncheon, among other activities.
Arizona's Holiday Bowl invitation, on the heels of a thrilling road victory in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum over then No. 20 USC on Saturday, marks the Wildcats' second consecutive bowl berth. Last season, Arizona defeated nationally-ranked Brigham Young in the Las Vegas Bowl to cap an eight-win season. A win over Nebraska this season would give the Wildcats a nine-win season.
Cam Nelson on the trip
Holiday Bowl officials are excited about the matchup pitting the Wildcats and Cornhuskers. The 1998 showdown between the two schools drew the second-highest attendance in game history (65,354) and the contest remains the most-watched of the 31 all-time games. Arizona's defense held the storied Nebraska option attack to 87 net rushing yards and the Wildcats cranked up a fourth-quarter running game to score 14 unanswered points to beat the No. 14 Cornhuskers, 23-20, putting an exclamation point on a 12-1 season.
Since the Holiday Bowl was inaugurated in 1978, it has played to more than 90% of capacity. Of the 31 games, 17 had victory margins of one touchdown or less and the outcome of 20 games was decided in the final four minutes, earning the Holiday Bowl a well-deserved reputation as one of the most entertaining games of the post-season schedule.
NOTES: Arizona and Nebraska meet for the third time. The clubs tied, 14-14, in Lincoln in 1961 and UA beat the Huskers, 23-20, in 1998 Holiday Bowl action... Arizona has a live three-game bowl victory streak including last year's win over BYU and a 1997 victory in the Insight.com Bowl over New Mexico.