Holiday Bowl committee member Rob Beathard said he thinks this year’s Gophers/Washington State matchup could produce another one of those “high-scoring barn burner-type games.”
The bowl has delivered its share of classics, including the 1980 Holiday Bowl, when Jim McMahon helped BYU erase a 20-point deficit over the final two minutes in a 46-45 victory over Eric Dickerson, Craig James and SMU.
Two years ago, USC edged Nebraska 45-42, and last year, Wisconsin got a late field goal to defeat USC 23-21.
“The Gophers stood out to us from a football perspective because of how balanced they are,” Beathard said in a telephone interview this week. “You look at their 8-4 record, and three of the losses were one-score games. If a play or two goes the other way, you’re looking at totally different postseason implications.
“We actually felt like we got a steal with the Gophers, and Washington State has that electric offense.”
Beathard noted that it was “50 degrees warmer” in San Diego, as he was talking. He mentioned the beaches, the “World Famous San Diego Zoo,” Sea World and the area’s 80 golf courses as other attractions Minnesota fans could take in while visiting.
He also said San Diego is “one of the micro-brew capitals of America,” noting that there will be food trucks and micro brews available as part of the pregame tailgate experience at Qualcomm Stadium.