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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Holiday Bowl bound

Alan Walsh/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Alan Walsh
Alan Walsh/Arizona Daily Wildcat

It’s official: the Arizona football team will square off against Nebraska on Dec. 30 at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, Calif.

The game will be a rematch of sorts of the 1998 meeting between the two teams, a game the Wildcats won 23-20. However, the contest also features another interesting story line, as Arizona’s Stoops brothers will face off against childhood friends in Nebraska’s Pelini brothers.

“”Obviously Bo (Pelini) is a close friend of mine and our family and certainly Carl (Pelini) — in the same position that Mark (Stoops) holds — so it’s going to be different,”” said UA head coach Mike Stoops. “”Really, in football or in any competition, once the game starts you really kind of block all that out and concentrate on all the things you need to to win a football game, but it’ll be fun competing against Bo.””

No. 22 Arizona was selected for the Holiday Bowl thanks to its 21-17 win against USC Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, while the No. 20 Huskers were selected after a 13-12 loss to Texas in the Big 12 Title Game. Nebraska lost on a last-second field goal to the Longhorns, but Bo Pelini doesn’t expect his team to experience any lingering effects.

“”It’s not like we’ve got to turn around and do this in three days,”” Pelini said. “”It’s a bowl game, it’s the last game of the year and we’re going to want to send our seniors out as winners. And on top of that, we’ve got a great challenge against a really good program and a tremendous coaching staff.””

Regardless of the circumstances that brought each team to the game, Stoops said his squad is looking forward to playing in an upper-tier bowl game against a strong opponent.

“”I think playing a quality program, a top-10 program like Nebraska will be very exciting to our players. Being in a bigger game, growing as a program, I think it’s very exciting for all of us and I think for our fans,”” Stoops said. “”I think this is going to be a big-time event for them and exciting to play in a big game. We haven’t done it in a long time, so it’s very exciting to all of us.””

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