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Utah State football: Aggies to play Northern Illinois in Poinsettia Bowl

Published December 8, 2013 3:53 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Fresno • The Utah State football team won't be home for Christmas, but they'll be warm.

The Aggies have accepted a bid to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on Dec. 26. Utah State (8-5, 7-2) will be pitted against Northern Illinois (12-1, 8-1), the one-time BCS busting hopeful.

Accepting an invitation makes history: For the first time ever, the Utah State will go to three straight bowl games.

Utah State confirmed an earlier Tribune report that the Huskies and Aggies would play in San Diego. The game will be televised on ESPN for a 7:30 p.m. MT kickoff.

The matchup pits two conference runners-up against one another. Northern Illinois' BCS hopes crashed at the end of the season with a loss to Bowling Green in the MAC championship. The No. 23-ranked Huskies are led by Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch, who has run for 22 scores, passed for 23, and is at the helm of the nation's No. 23-ranked offense.

Utah State will face its second one-loss team in a row, fresh off of a 24-17 loss to Fresno State in the Mountain West championship game. The Aggies boast the No. 7-ranked scoring defense in the country (17.3 ppg) and are No. 11 in total yards (332.1 ypg).

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon