Utah accepts invitation to San Diego Poinsettia Bowl

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SALT LAKE CITY—The University of Utah football team has accepted an invitation to play against Navy in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Thu., Dec. 20. The game, which features two 8-4 teams, kicks off the 2007-08 bowl season and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Game time is 6 p.m. PST (7 p.m. MST) in Qualcomm Stadium.

Tickets in the Utah fan section may be purchased through the Utah ticket office at a cost of $35 (field, plaza and loge levels) and $45 (club and press levels). Orders will be taken online at utahutes.com, by phone (801-581-UTIX) and at the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office.

"We're excited for the opportunity to play in the Poinsettia Bowl," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "We have several players, as well as a large alumni base, from the Southern California area. It's also a great destination for our fans from Utah. We always have a large fan contingent at our regular season games in Qualcomm Stadium and we anticipate an even bigger turnout for the bowl game.

"We'll have a strong opponent in the U.S. Naval Academy. We've never played the Midshipmen before, but we expect the same type of discipline, toughness and level of execution that we face every year in Air Force.

"The players and coaches are excited about our opportunity to play another game. The date is ideal for the players, in that it allows them to spend the holidays with their families after the bowl game."

Utah has won its last six bowl games, dating back to 1999, which is the second-longest postseason win streak in the nation. The Poinsettia Bowl marks the fifth-straight bowl appearance for the Utes.

Utah (8-4, 5-3 Mountain West Conference) is making its fifth straight bowl appearance and has won its last six bowl games dating back to 1999 - the second-longest win streak in the country. Bowl wins during that time came against Fresno State (1999), USC (2001), Southern Mississippi (2003), Pittsburgh (2005, 2004 season), Georgia Tech (2005) and Tulsa (2006).

The Utes are 9-3 all-time in their bowl history and have made two previous postseason appearances in Southern California, playing in the Freedom Bowl in 1993 and 1994.

Navy (8-4) is an independent. Utah and Navy have never played each other in football.

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