UW heads to Fiesta Bowl, WSU to Holiday Bowl

Washington defensive back Ezekiel Turner, right, runs with the ball after he intercepted a Washington State pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars learned where they'll be playing this bowl season on Sunday.

UW (10-2, 7-2 in Pac-12 play) knew it wouldn't be making a repeat appearance in the College Football Playoff, but Chris Petersen's Huskies finished the season at No. 11 in the final CFP standings, which earned them a berth in the Fiesta Bowl versus No. 9 Penn State (10-2).

No. 18 WSU (9-3, 6-3) will be headed to the Holiday Bowl, where they'll take on the No. 16 Michigan State Spartans (9-3) according to a report from Brett McMurphy.

The Fiesta Bowl game will mark just the third matchup between the college football blue bloods Washington and Penn State, who last played in the 1983 Aloha Bowl, which the Nittany Lions won by a 13-10 score.

The Dec. 30 matchup at University of Phoenix Stadium, which will be televised on ESPN, should be a higher-scoring affair. Led by head coach James Franklin, a Heisman Trophy candidate in running back Saquon Barkley and prolific quarterback Trace McSorley, Penn State ranked seventh in the nation in scoring, averaging 41.6 points per game. The task of stopping Barkley, McSorley and Co. will fall to standout defensive tackle Vita Vea and the rest of a deep Huskies defense that led the Pac-12 and ranked fifth in the nation by allowing just 14.5 points per game.

UW's offense has been on a hot streak lately, scoring 33 or more points in four of its final five games following an Oct. 14 loss at Arizona State. Quarterback Jake Browning hasn't put up the same kind of numbers he did last year, when he was Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, but running back Myles Gaskin has made up for it by rushing for a career-high 19 touchdowns.

On Dec. 28, Mike Leach, Luke Falk and the Cougars will play in their second straight Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, where they dropped a 17-12 decision to Minnesota last year.

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