Nebraska Faces Washington in Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

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Image The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers and University of Washington Huskies have accepted invitations to play in the 33rd annual Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, 2010 President Eric Graves announced today. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 30th at Qualcomm Stadium.

The 2010 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl will mark the ninth meeting of the two teams. Nebraska leads the series with a record of 4-3-1. The two most recently squared off September 18th in Seattle. The Huskers topped the Huskies 56-21.

“We’re excited that our bowl game is going to match two of the nation’s most tradition-rich college football programs,” said Graves. “Both schools have played in the game on several occasions, and each time they’ve shown their fans are among the best, loudest and most loyal. We look forward to quite a game on December 30th.”

“We had a great experience in San Diego last year, and the Holiday Bowl committee and staff did an outstanding job of hosting our team. I know we’ll get great hospitality again this year,” Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini said. “Our team has worked hard since the start of practice in August and are deserving of an enjoyable bowl experience, and the opportunity to win an 11th game.”

Coach Pelini brings his Nebraska Cornhuskers to San Diego with a 10-3 overall record. They posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2000 and 2001. Nebraska again boasts one of the nation’s most dominant defenses, ranking in the top 10 nationally in total defense, scoring defense and pass defense. Senior cornerback Prince Amukamara is the leader of one of the nation’s top secondaries, while junior defensive tackle Jared Crick has 9.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Lavonte David enters the Holiday Bowl with 145 tackles and is poised to set the Nebraska single-season tackle record.

Nebraska is led by a powerful running game that ranks first in the Big 12 and in the top 10 nationally at 260 yards per game. Nebraska enters the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl with the opportunity to produce three 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in school history. Senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. has totaled 1,211 yards and 11 touchdowns, while sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead and redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez each have more than 900 rushing yards. Washington enters the game winning three straight to become bowl eligible with a 6-6 overall record, 5-4 in the Pac-10. The Huskies are just two years removed from a winless season (2008). This is their first bowl game since the 2002 Sun Bowl.

"We're thrilled to be invited to play in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and to represent the University of Washington and the Pac-10," Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian said. "This is a tremendous reward for a football team that fought through to the end of the season. We look forward to a great trip and an exciting game vs. Nebraska."

The Huskies are led on offense by senior quarterback Jake Locker, who will end his career at or near the top of nearly every statistical category for a QB in UW history. He's joined by sophomore tailback Chris Polk, whose 285 rushing yards Saturday vs. Washington State gave him 1,238 for the season. Junior receiver Jermaine Kearse has 1,001 receiving yards.

On defense, senior linebacker Mason Foster is No. 2 in the nation in tackles with 12.58 per game. The Huskies also features the No. 3 and 4 tacklers in the Pac-10 (safety Nate Williams and linebacker Cort Dennison) and the conference's leader in tackles for loss, senior linebacker Victor Aiyewa.

Nebraska has played in the Holiday Bowl twice, both times against Arizona. In 1998 they lost to the Wildcats 23-20, but returned to record a 33-0 shutout win against them last year. Washington will be making their fourth appearance in the Holiday Bowl. The previous three resulted in losses, in 1996 against Colorado (33-21), in 1999 against Kansas State (24-20) and in 2001 against Texas (47-43).

Tickets for the 2010 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl can be purchased by calling TicketMaster at 1-800-745-3000, or by visiting www.Bridgepoint

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