Ducks picked for Las Vegas Bowl
Oregon will play Boise State in the Dec. 16 Las Vegas Bowl.
The Saturday game will kick off at 12:30 p.m., at Sam Boyd Stadium, and it will be televised by ABC.
The announcement came Sunday morning, and after Washington got tabbed for a New Years Six bowl, the Fiesta Bowl. That bumped the Ducks up from their potential landing spot in the Cactus Bowl at Phoenix.
It's not an ideal bowl game scenario for Oregon, what with an early recruiting signing period taking place in the week after the game, which has also disrupted a big UO on-campus visit recruiting day for Dec. 15.
It's also doubtful that the Ducks can get 15 practices in that are allotted to them for bowl preparation. They practiced three times, and will now take off this week for finals week before resuming practice on Saturday.
Not to mention coach Willie Taggart is reportedly a top candidate for the Florida State job, and he could bolt anytime.
Still, it's the Vegas Bowl. Offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby, who's expected to play, hails from suburban Henderson, Nevada. It's not clear, yet, whether running back Royce Freeman will play, or skip the game to prepare for the NFL; he practiced over the weekend.
"I think we all know how bad they wanted to play in this bowl game," Taggart says. "When they got news of it, they were excited about it.
"It's against a top-25 football team. It's going to be fun. We got an opportunity to finish the season with eight (wins), that's important to our guys and the progress we're making with our football team."
Taggart addressed the Florida State rumors on Sunday. A reporter asked him whether he would be the coach for the Ducks in Vegas.
"Why wouldn't I?" he said. "Nothing's changed. ... I can't control what anyone else thinks or wants to say. I can't give you something I don't have. There's no decision to be made."
Taggart said that he would be catching a flight at 11 p.m. Sunday night to go recruiting.
Oregon and Boise State will be meeting for the first time since 2009, when the Broncos won at home 18-9, and Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount wound up on suspension for delivering a postgame punch to a BSU player.
Boise State (10-3) was 25th in the final College Football Playoff rankings released Sunday.
The Ducks (7-5) have won two games in a row, beating Arizona 48-28 and Oregon State 69-10, both at Autzen Stadium.
Boise State rallied to beat then-No. 25 Fresno State 17-14 on Saturday in the Mountain West Conference championship game at Boise, Idaho.
The Broncos had lost to the Bulldogs 28-17 at Fresno, California, in the regular-season finale. Fresno State is 9-4.
Boise State is led by quarterback Brett Rypien, a 6-2 junior from Spokane, Washington, whose uncle is former NFL QB and Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien.
Brett Rypien has passed for 2,515 yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 games this season, completing 63.5 percent, with four inteceptions in 310 attempts.
BSU has outscored its opponents per game, 32.1 points to 22.5.
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin, who played quarterback for the Broncos, is in his fourth season and is 41-12 at the school. Harsin has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Oregon coach Willie Taggart if Taggart leaves to coach Florida State.
The Broncos have two Portland products playing on defense, both redshirt freshmen. Safety Jordan Happle, from Jesuit High, has 14 tackles in 12 games. End Kayode Rufai, out of Lincoln High, has six stops in eight games.
The Las Vegas Bowl pregame Fan Fest is from 9 a.m.-noon on Dec. 16. Tickets are listed at $35, $65, $75 and $110 — plus 9 percent Nevada tax.
The Las Vegas Bowl is one of six bowl games to be played on that day — the first day of the FBS postseason.
The Vegas Bowl been around since 1992. Oregon beat Air Force in 1997 and lost to BYU in 2006. Pac-12 teams are 10-8. Utah won the game in 2014 and 2015. Last year, San Diego State beat Houston.