Fresno State Headed to HAWAI`I BOWL to Face Rice on Dec. 24 Print
News - Sports
Written by Jason Clay - Fresno State   
Sunday, 07 December 2014 14:27

FRESNO The Fresno State football team learned Sunday it will play in the 2014 HAWAI`I BOWL against the Rice Owls from Conference USA.

The Bulldogs, winner of the West Division of the Mountain West with a 6-7 overall record, will face off against Rice at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium on Christmas Eve (Wednesday, Dec. 24) at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

"We are thrilled to be playing in the Hawai`i Bowl against Rice," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "Having been to the Hawai`i Bowl just two years ago, our staff and players know that we are in for a fantastic week.

"I am extremely proud of this year's team, who battled and persevered all season long. We now look forward to competing against a highly respected Rice Owls team and look to send this special senior class out the right way with a victory."

The Bulldogs made their only HAWAI`I BOWL appearance in 2012, falling to SMU. 43-10. Fresno State, which has made 14 bowl appearances in the past 16 years, will make their third major bowl appearance in the Islands, having also participated in the 1993 Aloha Bowl.

"Heading to postseason play in college football is always a reward for your players and coaching staff," said interim AD Steve Robertello. "After playing in the Mountain West Championship game, being selected to play in the Hawai`i Bowl is an incredible reward and we look forward to heading to the Islands and representing the Mountain West."

For Fresno State, the bowl appearance will be its 26th overall in program history. The Bulldogs and Rice have never met in a bowl game, and the `Dogs own a 6-0 all-time record against the Owls. The two teams met six-straight seasons from 1999-04 when both programs were Western Athletic Conference members.

This will be Fresno State's third-straight bowl appearance under DeRuyter, who led the Bulldogs to MW titles in 2012 and 2013 and an appearance in the 2014 Sports Authority Mountain West Championship game. The Bulldogs will be looking to end a five-game skid in bowl games, going back to 2008.

"We welcome the MW's West Division champion Fresno State Bulldogs to the 13th Annual HAWAI`I BOWL," Hawai`i Bowl Executive Director David A. K. Matlin said. "With two consecutive West Division titles, Coach Tim DeRuyter and his Bulldog squad will represent the MW very well in Hawai`i."

Rice went 7-5 this season and 5-3 in C-USA play to finish in a tie for second in the West Division. Rice, like the Bulldogs, had an 0-3 start before rebounding to get bowl eligible. Since 1980, there have been 496 teams that started a season out 0-3, but only 21 of them reached a bowl game and Fresno State and Rice represent two of those 21 teams.

Fans will be able to purchase tickets through the Fresno State ticket office beginning on Monday after 12 p.m. PT. Tickets can be purchased in person at the ticket office located at the Save Mart Center, online at GoBulldogs.com or over the phone by calling 559-278-DOGS.

"Be Bold" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM.