Steve Sarkisian (US Presswire)
The University of Washington and Baylor University have both accepted invitations today to play in the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl on Thursday, December 29 at 8:00 p.m. CST in San Antonio’s 65,000-seat Alamodome.
Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian is in his third year at the helm and has led his squad to a bowl game the past two years. Last year the Huskies beat Nebraska 19-7 in the Holiday Bowl.
Sophomore quarterback Keith Price and junior running back Chris Polk lead Washington’s offense and are ranked #3 in the Pac-12 in pass efficiency and rushing, respectively. Following their 38-21 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup, the Huskies improved to 7-5 (5-4 Pac-12).
"We're excited to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl and to represent the University of Washington and the Pac-12 Conference,” said Sarkisian. “The selection is a testament to the hard work our team has put in, and we look forward to a great trip and exciting game."
"We are excited to compete in the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl,” said Washington Director of Athletics Scott Woodward. “Our fans, team and staff are looking forward to the trip and an exciting game in San Antonio."
Baylor finished the season winning five straight Big 12 games to post an overall record of 9-3 (6-3) in conference play. This is Baylor’s second straight bowl trip and first appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl since 1994.
Head Coach Art Briles is in his 4th year at Baylor and led the Bears to their first bowl appearance in 16 years in 2010. Heisman hopeful Robert Griffin III directs Baylor’s 5th ranked passing offense with an average of 356.2 passing yards per game and is 6th in the country in points with 43.5 per game.
"On behalf of Baylor University, the Board of Regents, President Starr, Coach Briles and our football program, it is a great honor to accept an invitation to participate in the Valero Alamo Bowl," Baylor University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said. "We are very excited about playing in such a prestigious and highly respected bowl game and look forward to Baylor Nation rising up to fill the stands.”
“We’re pumped to get to extend our season at the Alamo Bowl in a great city and a great stadium in football-crazed South Texas,” said Briles. “We’re so happy for our fans, that they’ll be able to show up in mass support. We’re proud that our players get the opportunity to play a really good Washington team from the Pac-12 and that they get to represent the Big 12.”
This year’s game will be the 19th installment of the Valero Alamo Bowl and marks the fifth time Baylor and Washington have played (and first time since 1965) with the Bears holding a 3-1 advantage.
Ticket prices for the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl start at $35 and can be purchased online at www.alamobowl.com or through the university box offices. Tickets can also be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Alamodome Southwest Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Both head coaches will be in San Antonio on Thursday, December 8 for a 10:00 a.m. press conference as part of the Golf Classic at The Club at Sonterra.
University of Washington Notes
· The Huskies finished the season 7-5 overall, 5-4 in the Pac-12 Conference.
· Under the direction of third-year head coach Steve Sarkisian, Washington improved its regular season wins total for the third straight season, becoming just one of eight programs in the last 50 years to qualify for a bowl twice within three seasons after a winless record.
· The Huskies were led on offense by junior tailback Chris Polk, who became the second Husky back ever to rush for 1,000 yards in three different seasons. His 1,341 yards this year, the fifth-highest total in school history.
· First-year starting quarterback Keith Price has put up record-setting numbers, breaking the school mark for touchdowns in a season with 29, while also posting the best pass efficiency rating and highest completion percentage in Husky history heading into the bowl game.
· Senior inside linebacker Cort Dennison led the defense as his 113 total tackles were most in the Pac-12 Conference through the end of the regular season.
· The Huskies earned a bowl bid after rebounding from a disappointing loss at Oregon State with a 38-21 victory over Washington State in the annual Apple Cup. Price, who had not started the week prior due to injury, tossed three more TDs and Polk rushed for 100 yards in the win.
Baylor University Notes
· No. 15 Baylor concluded its most successful regular-season since 1986 by compiling an overall record of 9-3, 6-3 in the Big 12.
· The Bears feature an explosive offense ranked second nationally (571 ypg) and boasts the most prolific passer (Robert Griffin III, rusher (Terrance Ganaway) and receiver (Kendall Wright) in school history. Griffin III is a Heisman candidate and leads an offense that has set or tied 53 individual and team records.
· With the 48-24 win over 22nd ranked Texas, Baylor is riding a 5-game winning streak, its longest since stating the 1991 season 5-0.
· Baylor’s powerful & balanced offense leads the nation in passing efficiency (194.05) & 1st downs (28.67), ranks 2nd in total offense (571.25), 5th in passing (356.17), 6th in scoring (43.5) and 18th in rushing (215.08).
· Baylor beat Oklahoma and Texas in the same season for the first time in program history.
· Baylor has been ranked in the AP Top 25 poll for 11 weeks this season — the most since being ranked 12 weeks in 1951.