As expected Fresno State accepts invitation to Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Fresno State, champions of the Mountain West with a 9-3 overall record and 7-1 mark in their first season of MW play, will meet Conference USA representative SMU on Christmas Eve at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
ESPN will televise the game nationally and kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT.
“We are pleased and excited to receive an invitation to participate in the 2012 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl and look forward to playing a highly respected Southern Methodist University team,” Boeh said. “The Island of Oahu is of course a world-renowned destination, known for both its spectacular attractions and unsurpassed hospitality. Our players, staff and fans will undoubtedly thoroughly enjoy many of the offerings of The Aloha State as we prepare to represent the Mountain West Conference in what should be a terrific football game.”
Head coach Tim DeRuyter’s Bulldogs will head to Honolulu on Wednesday, Dec. 19 for the week of bowl festivities. Fresno State enters the bowl game riding a five-game winning streak and is coming off its first conference championship since 1999.
“The Bulldogs are thrilled to be playing in the 2012 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl versus SMU,” DeRuyter said. “Having been to an earlier Hawai’i Bowl as an assistant coach, I know the players and coaches are in for a fantastic week. We also know the challenge of playing against a June Jones coached SMU team and look forward to competing on Christmas Eve."
This will be Fresno State’s 24th bowl game in program history and the Bulldogs have an 11-12 all-time bowl record. It is also Fresno State’s 12th bowl appearance in the last 14 seasons.
The Bulldogs have never faced SMU in a bowl game, but the two schools have faced one another six times before when they were both members of the WAC from 1999-04. Fresno State holds a 5-1 advantage in the series and its five wins have been by an average margin of 21.2 points.
Fresno State features one of the nation’s most explosive offenses and a top-ranked defense.
The Bulldogs averaged 40.2 points per game and 488.5 yards of offense during the regular season to tie for 12th and rank 14th nationally in the respective categories.
Defensively, Fresno State is 19th nationally in total defense and with 33 take-aways on the year, DeRuyter’s looters tied for third in the FBS in turnovers gained.
SMU is making its 15th bowl appearance after finishing the 2012 regular season with a 6-6 record. This is the Mustangs’ third bowl appearance in Honolulu.
Under head coach June Jones, SMU will be making its fourth consecutive bowl appearance.