Las Vegas Bowl to host California, BYU

Updated: December 5, 2005, 2:01 AM ET
Associated Press

PROVO, Utah -- The California Golden Bears accepted an invitation Sunday to play the Brigham Young Cougars in the Dec. 22 Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl.

"Cal is a well-coached football team," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "They play in a tough conference and have a great football tradition. This will serve as an appropriate way to measure our program in relation to the goals that have been established."

Cal, which closed its regular season at 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-10, waited for the Bowl Championship Series to set its field Sunday before accepting the invitation.

BYU, which finished 6-5 overall and 5-3 in the Mountain West Conference, accepted its invitation on Nov. 22.

"This is an exciting time for the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl as we look forward to hosting a prestigious Pac-10 program such as Cal," said Tina Kunzer-Murphy, executive director of the bowl. "Our executive committee is thrilled that coach Tedford and his players are coming to town to take on BYU in what may well just be a full house."

Tedford said, "The team is very excited about the opportunity to go to Las Vegas and play in the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl. We get to match up against one of the top teams in the Mountain West conference. BYU has such a great tradition."

The game will be the third time the two teams have met, with BYU winning both games.

BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe served as the head coach at Cal from 1997 through 2001.

"I look at this matchup as the opportunity for the Cougars to compete against a very fine Golden Bear team," Holmoe said. "During the bowl festivities, I will enjoy catching up with my Cal friends, including the players, coaches, staff, boosters, alums and the Cal band."

The game will be the first time in the Las Vegas Bowl for both teams.

BYU has a 7-15-1 bowl record, while the Golden Bears are 6-8-1 in postseason play, winning four of their last six bowl games. The Cougars have not won a bowl game since 1996.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press