Gophers Headed to the Holiday Bowl
(Gophersports.com) -- The University of Minnesota has accepted an invitation to play Washington State in the 2016 National Funding Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27, in San Diego, Calif. The 6 p.m. CT game will be played at Qualcomm Stadium and will be broadcast on ESPN.
This 2016 National Funding Holiday Bowl will mark the 39th staging of the game, but it will be the first time that Minnesota will play in the historic bowl. The contest will also mark Minnesota's first bowl game in California since it beat UCLA 21-3 in the 1962 Rose Bowl.
Tickets go on sale Monday at 9 a.m. and complete ticket information can be found at MyGopherSports.comor by calling 1-800-U-GOPHER.
Washington State finished the season 8-4 and was 7-2 in the Pac-12. Minnesota was 1-0 this season against the Pac-12, as it opened the season with a 30-23 home win against Oregon State. The victory against Oregon State was Minnesota's first win against a team from the Pac-12 since Dec. 31, 2003, when the Gophers beat Oregon 31-30 in the Sun Bowl.
The Gophers have played Washington State five times and are 2-3 all-time against the Pac-12 member. All five games were contested in Minneapolis, but the teams has not met since 1988. Minnesota beat Washington State in 1976 and 1982 and fell to the Cougars in 1965, 1971 and 1988.
Minnesota will play in its fifth straight bowl game and 19th overall when it faces the Cougars. The streak of five consecutive bowls is tied for the longest stretch in program history, as the Gophers also played in five straight bowl games from 2002-06. Minnesota snapped a seven-game bowl losing streak last year with a win in the Quick Lane Bowl.
Minnesota is 8-4 this year and also won eight games in 2013 and 2014. The last time Minnesota won eight games three times in a four-year span was 1903-05 (14, 13 and 10 wins). The Gophers have now won at least eight games in a season 20 times in school history and nine times since 1942 and six times since 1968. The last time the Gophers won nine games in a season was 2003 when they won 10 games. Before that it was 1905, when they also won 10 games.