The University of Utah runs onto the field during an NCAA Football game vs. the Brigham Young University Cougars at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

The University of Utah secured its bowl game earlier in the season, but it wasn’t until after championship weekend, and a season of ups and downs, that the Utes’ postseason destination was decided.

The Utes have been selected to play the Northwestern University Wildcats in the 2018 Holiday Bowl, in San Diego, CA on Monday, Dec. 31.

Both of the two teams competing in this year’s Holiday Bowl are coming into the game after losses in their respective conference championship games. Utah lost a defensive battle to the University of Washington, 10-3, and Northwestern was on the bad end of a shootout against Ohio State University, losing 45-24. Both Washington and Ohio State will represent the Pac-12 and Big 10, respectively, in the 2019 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA on New Year’s Day.

Head Coach Kyle Whittingham was excited for the opportunity to take his Utah team to San Diego, after battling through a gruesome Pac-12 schedule.

“We are elated to be invited to the Holiday Bowl and to play an outstanding Northwestern team,” Whittingham said when the news broke. “It is a testament to our players and also our great fanbase that we were invited to play in this prestigious game.”

Utah is 5-0 in bowl games since entering the Pac-12, with wins over Colorado State University, Brigham Young University, Indiana University and West Virginia University. Northwestern will definitely be the Utes’ toughest bowl opponent since joining the conference, but the team has proven their mettle and that they deserve to play in one of the top bowl games in the country, against another conference runner-up/divisional champion. Coach Whittingham’s 11-1 (92 percent) bowl record is the best in NCAA history.

Kickoff for the game is slated for Monday, Dec. 31st at 5:00 P.M. MT, at the San Diego County Credit Union Stadium, in San Diego, CA. Tickets are already available at various ticket outlets.

z.janis@dailyutahchronicle.com

@ZachJanis

Zach Janis
An avid sports fan with a knack for writing, Zach is in charge of the sports desk for the Chronicle, and a junior at the University of Utah. Zach is studying Music Education and Communications with an emphasis in Journalism. When not advocating for the Oxford comma, Zach spends his time calling play by play for various sports around the University, and hopes to become a broadcaster after earning his degree.

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