BOISE - The Boise State football team will face Oregon in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl, an enticing matchup between two programs that played a memorable home-and-home series a few years back.
LIVE GAME TRACKER: Las Vegas Bowl
The Mountain West champion Broncos (10-3, 7-1 MWC) enter the game ranked No. 25 in each of the major polls, and having won eight of their last nine games.
Meanwhile, the Ducks (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) finished 7th in the Pac-12, but ended on a high note, winning their final two games in dominant fashion.
A new wrinkle in Oregon's bowl plans came just two days after the bowl announcement was made - Coach Willie Taggart confirmed he was leaving the program to take over the head coaching duties at Florida State. The Ducks didn't have to go far to find their new head coach. Co-offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal, who was previously tapped as interim coach, has been officially hired to lead the team going forward.
The Broncos and Ducks have played just twice, but it was a memorable series that included Bronco great Kellen Moore's breakout performance, and a punch heard 'round the world.
The first of the two matchups came on Sept. 20, 2008 when Boise State upset 17th-ranked Oregon in Eugene. It was the Broncos' first true road victory over a Power 5 (then BCS) team. The game was also an introduction to the world for redshirt freshman quarterback Moore, who would eventually become the winningest quarterback in college football history - a record that still stands. Moore threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns as the Broncos escaped Autzen Stadium with a 35-32 win.
The next year, things turned ugly following a 19-8 Boise State victory over Oregon at Bronco Stadium (now Albertsons Stadium). Billed as the biggest home game in program history, the No. 14 Broncos bullied the No. 16 Ducks for four quarters. But the dominant performance was overshadowed by the post-game scrum in which Oregon running back Legarette Blount punched Boise State's Byron Hout after Hout yelled in Blount's face and tapped him on the shoulder pad. Blount then had to be restrained by coaches and police from going after heckling fans.
In the eight years since the last meeting, the coaches and players have changed, but many fans on both sides still harbor animosity towards the other side. So the bowl game is enticing - especially from a fan perspective - as the Ducks look for payback, and the Broncos aim to extend their shutout on the series.
"Our guys are excited," coach Bryan Harsin said. "Excited to be in this game, obviously excited coming off the championship game, knowing we have another opportunity, another goal to achieve and to do it against an opponent like Oregon is something that our guys are going to be looking forward to."
2017 Las Vegas Bowl
- Boise State vs. Oregon
- Saturday, Dec. 16
- Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
- Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. MT
The game will be televised on ABC, which can be found on the following channels:
- Cable One: Channel 6 / 1006 (HD)
- DirecTV: Channel 6
- Dish Network: Channel 6
- Cox: Channel 8 / 1008 (HD)
Announcers for the game will be ESPN's Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and sideline reporter Molly McGrath.
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen to the game on the Bronco Radio Network, which can be found online or on the following stations in the Boise area:
- KBOI 670 AM in Boise
- KTIK 93.1 FM in Boise
- KDZY 98.3 FM in McCall
- KSNQ 98.3 FM in Twin Falls
For a list of Bronco Radio Network stations outside the Boise area, click here.
BRONCO ROUNDUP GAME DAY
KTVB's Bronco Roundup Game Day show will be live from Sam Boyd Stadium from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. on KTVB, KTVB.COM, and in the Bronco Roundup app. Join Jay Tust, Will Hall and special guests for a live look at all of the major storylines leading up to kickoff.
Boise State fans are encouraged to purchase tickets through the university online here or by calling the ticket office at (208) 426-4737.
For more information on tickets and travel packages, click here.
PRE-BOWL EVENTS FOR FANS
High Roller at the LINQ
Dec 14 - 5 p.m.
The LINQ High Roller experience is a chance for fans to see their favorite team parade through the LINQ Promenade prior to riding the World’s Largest Observation Wheel, the High Roller. Players will experience the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip from 550 feet up.
Dec. 15 - 12 p.m.
Just about 24 hours before the game, the Las Vegas Bowl will host the annual kickoff luncheon at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel. The luncheon will feature guest speaker, Merril Hoge as well as both teams, bands, and cheerleaders. To purchase tickets to this event, contact Paulette Rutledge at (702) 732-3912. Tickets are $75 each.
Fremont Street Experience Pep Rally
Dec. 15 - 6 p.m.
The annual tradition of the Fremont Street Experience Pep Rally - featuring the bands, cheerleaders, mascots and more - is a great opportunity for fans of both teams to truly get excited about the game.
Pre-Game Fan Fest
Dec. 16 - 9 a.m.
The Bud Light Pre-Game Fan Fest includes live music, food, games, and a battle of the bands. It all takes place right outside the stadium and runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Private turn-key tailgate tents are available. For more information, click here.
BACK TO VEGAS
Boise State will play in the Las Vegas Bowl for the first time since winning three straight appearances from 2010-12. The Broncos dominated Utah 26-3 in 2010, destroyed Arizona State 56-24 in 2011 and won a close 28-26 contest against Washington in 2012.
Oregon returns to the Las Vegas Bowl for the first time in more than a decade. The Ducks split their previous two trips - thumping Air Force 41-13 in 1997 and getting blown out by BYU 38-8 in 2006.
Boise State football fans have become accustomed to winning games. Bronco Nation holds high expectations, and for good reason - The team has registered 15 10-win seasons in 19 years.
This year's Las Vegas Bowl appearance marks the program's 16th consecutive bowl game, a streak that is best among Group of 5 teams and sixth-best nationally.
KTVB Sports analyst Tom Scott has more about the Broncos' winning ways in Monday's Scott Slant column:
"There were two significant footnotes to Boise State’s 17-14 win over Fresno State in the Mountain West title game: championships and 10-win seasons. The conference crown is the Broncos’19th in this, their 50th season of four-year football. It’s also Boise State’s 13th championship in the last 19 seasons dating back to 1999. The 10-win season ledger is really impressive, because those are so hard to come by in college football. The Broncos now have six 10-win seasons this decade alone (this is the third in four years for Bryan Harsin). Going back to 1999 again, this marks Boise State’s 15th 10-win season in 19 years. And in 50 seasons of four-year football, the Broncos have now won 10 or more games in 23 of them. That's a pretty good batting average."
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