LAS VEGAS - The 2012 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas will feature a ranked Boise State team for the third straight year against a first-time visitor for the second consecutive season as the No. 20/15 (AP/Coaches) Broncos of the Mountain West will play Washington of the Pac-12 Conference, Executive Director Dan Hanneke announced Sunday. The game will be played Saturday, Dec. 22, at 12:30 p.m. PT, and shown on ESPN and WatchESPN.
"This is another great matchup of two of the top programs in the West," Hanneke said. "Boise State has been a wonderful partner with Las Vegas the last two years and will bring in another fantastic record and national ranking to go with its Mountain West co-championship. On the other side, we are ecstatic to finally host Washington, which is another marquee brand from the Pac-12 that will be making its first appearance in Las Vegas. This is a great game on paper that we think will translate into a memorable bowl experience not only for our city but also for fans watching across the country on Saturday afternoon December 22."
Boise State comes into the bowl at 10-2 overall as the Broncos finished 7-1 in conference play, tying for the Mountain West championship with both Fresno State and San Diego State.
"We are excited to return to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and face the University of Washington," Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said. "Coach (Steve) Sarkisian and his staff do an excellent job in preparing their team and we look forward to the challenge of playing a Pac-12 opponent for the second straight year. The bowl staff in Las Vegas does an outstanding job hosting this event and we have had very good experiences playing there the past two years."
Boise State will look to become the first time team to go 3-0 in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas as the Broncos defeated Utah 26-3 in 2010 and then downed Arizona State 56-24 last year in the Sun Devils' Sam Boyd Stadium debut.
"I echo Coach Petersen's thoughts on playing in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas," Boise State Director of Athletics Mark Coyle said. "The city of Las Vegas, the bowl staff and ESPN do an outstanding job hosting this event and we look forward to returning for a third straight year. The opportunity of playing a Pac-12 opponent like the University of Washington is exciting and I know our fans will feel the same way."
Washington (7-5 overall /5-4 Pac-12), which was ranked 25th in the BCS Standings in mid-November, will be making its third postseason trip in as many years and playing in its 33rd bowl game overall.
"We are really excited to be headed to Las Vegas," UW head coach Steve Sarkisian said. "It's a great destination for not only our football team but for our fans and for Husky faithful to come support us. It's a tremendous bowl game, one that's got a great deal of history in our conference."
The Huskies will become the ninth team from the current Pac-12 lineup to have played in a MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
"We're very gratified to have been chosen to play in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas," Washington Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said. "This game offers a new experience for our team and our fans and I'm confident that it will be a positive one."
This will mark only the second meeting of the two teams as Washington defeated No. 22-ranked Boise State 24-10 on Sept. 8, 2007, at Husky Stadium to end the Broncos' nation-leading 14-game winning streak.
The Congrove Computer Rankings give Boise State a 7.11-point margin of victory.