EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State, which finished No. 16 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, has accepted an invitation to play in the 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl against No. 18 Washington State on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 9 p.m. EST in Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. This marks the first-ever appearance for the Spartans in the Holiday Bowl. The game will be televised nationally on FS1.
The Spartans finished the regular season with a 9-3 overall record (7-2 Big Ten) and are in position to record their sixth double-digit win season in the last eight years with a victory in the Holiday Bowl. It marks the 10th bowl bid in 11 seasons under Mark Dantonio, who owns a 99-45 record at the helm of the Spartans and will be looking for his 100th win as head coach at Michigan State. Dantonio already owns school records for most bowl wins (four) and bowl appearances (10), including a school-record four-game bowl winning streak with victories in the 2011 Outback Bowl vs. No. 18 Georgia, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl over TCU, 2014 Rose Bowl against No. 5 Stanford, and 2015 Cotton Bowl vs. No. 4 Baylor.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to represent the Big Ten in the Holiday Bowl against a great Pac 12 opponent in Washington State,” said Dantonio. “It’s always a special moment to play in a bowl game and the week will be a rewarding experience for our players and program. Our players will be ready for the challenge and I know they’re motivated to become just one of eight teams in school history to win 10 games in a season.
“Our team had quality leadership from all classes that helped put us in this position. Our program has been fortunate to play in several big bowl games, but for more than 60 players on our team, it will be their first bowl trip, so we’re definitely looking forward to it. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Holiday Bowl and how they run a first-class operation that creates a big-time atmosphere for the game.
“Facing Washington State will be a tremendous challenge. They have beaten USC, Stanford, Boise State and Oregon. They consistently have one of the top passing offenses in the nation every year (currently ranked No. 2 in the FBS), but they also have one of the top defenses in the nation as well (No. 15 in FBS). It will certainly be a difficult task for us.”
The Holiday Bowl marks the eighth meeting between Michigan State and Washington State. MSU leads the all-time series, 5-2, with the last meeting arriving in 1977. It will be the first meeting between the two teams in a bowl game.
The Spartans will be making their 27th all-time bowl appearance (11-15 record).
Since the CFP first started in 2014, Michigan State has appeared in the rankings 19 times, third most in the Big Ten and tied for seventh most in the FBS. MSU finished No. 8 in 2014, No. 3 in 2015 and No. 16 in 2017.
Michigan State receives an allotment of approximately 10,000 tickets for the Holiday Bowl. Tickets are priced from $175 and $60 and may be requested online at msuspartans.com (click “tickets” and proceed to the Spartan Online Ticket Office) or by calling the Spartan Ticket Office (open weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.), locally at 355-1610 or outside the Lansing area at 1-800-GO-STATE.
Spartan fans are encouraged to purchase bowl game tickets from the official team allocation through the Spartan Ticket Office. MSU officials anticipate having a sufficient quantity of bowl game tickets to accommodate Spartan fans. Ticket requests will be accepted through 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. Seating locations will be determined based on Spartan Fund priority for ticket requests received prior to the Dec. 5 deadline.
For information about the MSU Alumni Association Official Bowl Tour, Spartan fans should call 844-278-5618 or visit MSUAlumniTravel.com. Tour packages are available on a first-come, first-served basis.