Provo • For the first time since 2007 when it defeated UCLA 17-16 in the Las Vegas Bowl, BYU will face a team with an interim coach in a bowl game this season.
As expected, school and bowl officials announced Sunday that BYU and Washington will square off in the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 27 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. MST and the game will be televised by ESPN.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to play the University of Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “I am proud of our team. We are excited to be in the postseason for the ninth straight year with a chance to grow our program, facing an outstanding football program.”
It is a matchup of 8-4 teams that aren’t ranked in the major polls but are respected in the computer rankings. For instance, Washington is No. 12 in the Jeff Sagarin/USA Today ratings, and BYU is No. 30.
The Cougars will travel to the Bay Area the night of Dec. 22 and spend Christmas in San Francisco. They will spend time Christmas Day visiting the Glide Memorial Church Kitchen and St. Anthony’s Dining Room in the city.
“What an exciting opportunity for the Cougars to travel to the great city of San Francisco for the Fight Hunger Bowl and to play Washington from the Pac-12,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. “Our coaches, players and fans will love the holiday season in San Francisco.”
The ninth meeting between the Cougars and Huskies — the series is tied 4-4 — is not as juicy as it appeared to be before some coaching changes last week.
Washington was coached this season by former BYU quarterback Steve Sarkisian, but he is leaving to take the head coaching job at USC. He will be replaced by Boise State’s Chris Petersen, but Marques Tuiasosopo will serve as interim coach in the bowl game.
The Huskies went 8-4 in the regular season with nonconference wins over Boise State, Idaho State and Illinois.
They feature one of the best running backs in college football, junior Bishop Sankey. He has rushed for 1,775 yards and 18 touchdowns and quite likely will be playing in his last college game because it is expected he will enter the NFL Draft in April.
BYU has won its last three matchups with Washington, including a 23-17 victory in Provo in 2010, and went 6-2 against bowl teams this season.
But the Huskies are the hotter team, having won four of their last five games. They finished third in the Pac-12 North behind No. 5 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon.
Quarterback Keith Price has thrown for 2,843 yards and 20 touchdowns, with just five interceptions.
“It is great to be able to add to the wonderful bowl tradition that is long associated with BYU football,” Holmoe said.
The Cougars will be making their ninth straight bowl appearance, and have gone 6-2 in bowl games under Mendenhall.
Fight Hunger Bowl
BYU vs. Washington
P Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m. MST
At AT&T Park, San Francisco
TV • ESPN