The University of Oregon has accepted an invitation to face Oklahoma State in the 31st annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Diego, with the nationally-televised ESPN contest slated to kick off at 5 p.m. (PST) at Qualcomm Stadium.
It will mark the Ducks’ fourth-consecutive post-season appearance and their 12th bowl trip in 14 years under head coach Mike Bellotti. Oregon will play in the Holiday Bowl for the third time this decade, defeating Texas, 35-30 in 2000, and dropping a 17-14 decision to Oklahoma in 2005.
This will mark the first meeting ever between the Ducks and the Cowboys.
“We are honored and excited to accept this invitation,” Bellotti said. “Oklahoma State is a great football team and this match-up is going to be exciting for our players and fans, and fans of college football.
"Historically, these two teams have scored a lot of points," Bellotti added. "It's interesting that the two teams have run the ball very, very well. But probably the team that plays the best defense will be the one that wins the game. So we'll probably be talking about the offenses going in (into the game) but probably be talking about the defenses going out."
Oregon finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and tied for second in the Pacific-10 Conference (7-2). Oklahoma State will enter the game with a 9-3 record and 5-3 in the Big 12, finishing fourth in the Big 12 South behind Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.
Tickets will be available exclusively to Oregon football season ticket holders and Duck Athletic Fund contributors through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9. Priority orders may be placed through the athletic department’s official website, www.goducks.com, or by returning the bowl application received through the mail to the Athletic Ticket Office in the Casanova Center.
All remaining tickets will be place on sale on-line to the general public (www.goducks.com) beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9. Phone sales and in-person orders will be accepted beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, in the Casanova Center ticket office, or by calling 346-4461 or 1-800-WEBFOOT.
Tickets are $60 each, with a $10 handling fee added to each order as well as a $3 per ticket fee.
Holiday Bowl tickets are expected to be shipped around Dec. 15 via UPS second-day delivery. Orders including post office boxes will be mailed by U.S. postal system priority mail. Any tickets marked for Will Call pick up will be available at the Casanova Center ticket office from Dec. 16 through Dec. 23.
Oregon and Oklahoma State have benefited from similar styles of offensive success. The Ducks are ranked fourth in the country in rushing (227.8 avg.), seventh in scoring (41.9 avg.) and eighth in total offense (478.2 avg.). The Cowboys are rated seventh in rushing (256.0 avg.), seventh in total offense (489.3 avg.) and eighth in scoring (41.6 avg.).
Defensively, Oregon stands 78th in scoring defense (28.0 avg.) and 80th in total defense (383.0 avg.), while Oklahoma State is 70th in scoring defense (26.9 avg.) and 86th in total defense (392.3 avg.).
The only common opponent for the two schools in 2008 was Washington State, with Oklahoma State prevailing in its season opener in Seattle, 39-13, while the Ducks dominated the Cougars in Pullman, 63-14.
"Oregon is a very good opponent," said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. "Those coaches there have been associated with that program quite a while. They're running up some numbers that they wouldn't be able to do if they weren't a very good football team.
It will mark the second Holiday Bowl appearance by the Cowboys, who posted a dominating 62-14 win over Wyoming in the 1988 game. Quarterbacking that win was Gundy, with 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders running for 222 yards and five touchdowns.
Bellotti admitted that his team's return to San Diego would be one of bittersweet memories after the drowning accident of former San Diego high school standout and redshirt freshman Todd Doxey last summer.
"Our kids have progressed to the point of knowing what would Todd want and what would he want our players to do," Bellotti added. "It is fitting to finish the season where we started it by honoring Todd."