SEATTLE — After head coach Steve Sarkisian surprised the Washington Huskies by leaving for USC, and the Huskies surprised nearly everyone by hiring Chris Petersen to replace him, there was far less mystery and intrigue surrounding UW’s bowl selection.
The Huskies are going to San Francisco.
What was expected for weeks was made official on Sunday night, as the UW accepted an invitation to play in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 27 at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.
The game will kickoff at 6:30 p.m., and the Huskies (8-4) will play against Brigham Young (8-4), which accepted a bid after becoming bowl-eligible in late October.
This is UW’s fourth consecutive season with a bowl appearance, and fourth different bowl in that span. The Fight Hunger picks sixth among the bowls with Pac-12
tie-ins: Stanford will play against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl (Jan. 2, Pasadena); Oregon will play against Texas in the Alamo Bowl (Dec. 30, San Antonio); Arizona State will play against Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl (Dec. 30, San Diego); UCLA will play against Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl (Dec. 31, El Paso, Texas); and USC will play against Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 21).
Washington State snapped its nine-year postseason drought, receiving an invitation to the New Mexico Bowl. The Cougars will face Colorado State on Dec. 21 in Albuquerque.
The Pac-12’s final two bowl-eligible teams, Arizona and Oregon State, accepted bids to bowls not contracted by the conference. The Wildcats will play against Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La., and the Beavers travel to face Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl.
BYU, UW’s opponent, finished the season with an 8-4 record. The Cougars lost to Virginia, Utah, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. UW and BYU had two common opponents this year: Petersen’s former team, Boise State, which both teams defeated at home (UW won 38-6; BYU won 37-20), and Idaho State, which both teams defeated at home (UW won 56-0, BYU won 59-13).
The Huskies last played BYU in 2010, when UW traveled to Provo and lost, 23-17, in the season-opener. That was the return game of a home-and-home series that began at Husky Stadium in 2008, when then-UW quarterback Jake Locker was infamously penalized for excessive celebration after scoring a touchdown with three seconds remaining. The point-after-touchdown was moved back 15 yards and subsequently blocked, giving BYU a 28-27 victory.
UW won eight games this season for the first time since 2001. If the Huskies beat BYU, they will clinch their first nine-win season since they finished 11-1 in 2000.
Marques Tuiasosopo, the Huskies’ first-year quarterbacks coach, was named interim head coach for the bowl game.