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Bowl Preview: Holiday Bowl

by Robbie Gillies

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl


Date: Dec. 27, 8pm
Site: San Diego, CA
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium

Teams: #12 Arizona State Sun Devils (10-2) vs. #17 Texas Longhorns (9-3)

Betting Line: Texas is favored by 2.5 points.

Brief History: Just call this the let-down bowl. In recent years, teams that just missed making it into a BCS bowl have come in as heavy favorites and have fallen flat. In 2006 Oregon lost to Oklahoma 17-14, in '04 it was California who was blown out by Texas Tech 45-31, and in '03 Texas knocked off Washington State. Looks like Vegas is wise to this - ASU missed out on the BCS but Texas is favored.

Fun Fact: The Weiner Nationals takes place at the Holiday Bowl. The Weiner Nationals is the national championship race for the U.S. dachsund racing circuit. There aren't too many things funnier than watching a weiner dog run.

Notable Schwag for the Players: Nintendo Wii, Madden NFL 08; Fossil watch; Sweatshirt or polo (TBD). I really hope they don't get the schwag before-hand or they could get a serious case of accute wiitis.

Preview: Dennis Erickson's first year as coach of the Sun Devils was a huge success. They finished with a 10-2 overall and 7-2 in the PAC-10, good for a second place finish in the conference. The Sun Devils are solid on both sides of the ball. They rank 23rd in scoring defense and 34th in scoring offense.

Texas finished their season with a disappointing 38-30 loss to Texas A&M that left them with a 5-3 record in Big 12 play. The Longhorns have won five of their last six bowl games. Texas was led by their offense behind QB Colt McCoy and RB Jamaal Charles. The Longhorns ranked 18th in scoring offense and averaged 426 yards of total offense per game. But, their weak point was their pass defense where they gave up an average of 275 yards through the air. In their last game of the regular season, the Longhorns gave up 362 passing yards to Texas A&M.