Kyle Whittingham and his Utes are headed for the Emerald Bowl.
Nov. 22, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY - Buy Emerald Bowl Tickets in the Utah section here
The University of Utah accepted an invitation today from Emerald Bowl executive director Gary Cavalli to play in the fourth-annual Emerald Bowl against a team to be named. The game will be played in San Francisco's SBC Park on Thursday, Dec. 29. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The match-up will be televised nationally on ESPN. The payout is $750,000 per team.
The Emerald Bowl invitation comes on the heels of Utah's 41-34 overtime victory against Brigham Young in Provo on Nov. 19 and marks the fourth time in the last five years that the Utes have played in a postseason bowl game.
"We are excited for the opportunity to be going to a bowl game and to the Emerald Bowl in particular," said Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham. "This football team deserves to go to a bowl and it's a great way to send our seniors out. We have a lot of California players on our roster who will enjoy the fact that their friends and families back home will be able to watch them play. San Francisco is a great destination for our fans here in Utah, as well, and we hope for a great turnout. We feel like we're playing our best football of the season right now and are excited for the chance to play in the postseason."
The 6-5 Utes are the total offense leader in the Mountain West Conference and rank second in the league in total defense. Utah, which averaged 466.0 yards per game in the regular season, is ranked 12th in the nation this week in total offense.
Utah is 7-4 all-time in bowl games and 4-0 since 1999. Last year, Utah broke into the Bowl Championship Series and defeated Big East co-champion Pittsburgh, 35-7, in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Utah's other bowl wins during its current run follow: 17-16 vs. Fresno State in the 1999 Las Vegas Bowl, 10-6 over USC in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl and 17-0 vs. Southern Miss in the 2003 Liberty Bowl.
Tickets in the Utah section may be reserved online at www.Utahtickets.com, at the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office or by phone at 801-581-UTIX starting today. Ticket prices are $40, $50 and $75.
Media credentials must be obtained via the Emerald Bowl web site at www.emeraldbowl.org. The first scheduled team activity at the Emerald Bowl is a practice on Christmas day. A press conference is slated for Tuesday, Dec. 27 from 3-4 p.m. (PT). Utah practices prior to the Emerald Bowl will be open to the media. The Utes will practice at Laney College in Oakland (900 Fallon St.).
Last year's Emerald Bowl game saw Navy defeat New Mexico, 34-19. The inaugural game in 2002 resulted in a 20-13 Virginia Tech victory over Air Force. In 2003, Boston College beat Colorado State 35-21. This is the final year of a four-year Mountain West Conference contract with the Emerald Bowl.