Washington’s fourth bowl in as many Decembers will be a return of interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo to the Bay Area, where he played in the NFL for six seasons. Eleven Husky players will be having Christmastime homecomings for the Dec. 27 game, too.
By Gregg Bell
UW Director of Writing
SEATTLE – Marques Tuiasosopo is going back to the Bay Area for his first game as a head coach.
The Huskies (8-4), with Tuiasosopo as their interim coach, are heading to the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco to face Brigham Young (8-4) at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Friday, Dec. 27. The game will be played with the home field of the Major League Baseball Giants in a special football configuration. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN, the Washington IMG College radio network and here on GoHuskies.com with the exclusive game chat and live streaming audio of UW’s radio broadcast.
"We are extremely honored to represent the University of Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl," said Tuiasosopo. "We are excited to experience the city of San Francisco and look forward to Bowl week festivities. Go Huskies!"
Washington will play its fourth bowl in as many Decembers 16 miles and across the Bay Bridge from where the 34-year-old Tuiasosopo was an Oakland Raiders quarterback for six seasons beginning a dozen years ago. The Huskies named their quarterbacks coach as their interim leader Wednesday, two days before they hired Chris Petersen from Boise State to be their new coach.
The Huskies will practice on the UW campus from now until they are obligated to arrive in San Francisco on Sunday, Dec. 22. They will practice during bowl week at City College of San Francisco.
The Huskies and Cougars have two common opponents this season, Boise State and Idaho State. UW beat Boise State 38-6 at Husky Stadium in its opener Aug. 31; BYU beat the Broncos at home 37-20 on Oct. 25. Washington blanked Idaho State 56-0 at home on Sept. 21, while BYU beat the Bengals 59-13 on Nov. 16.
This Fight Hunger Bowl should be a fight to get stops on defense. The Huskies are eighth in the nation in total offense at 514 yards per game. BYU is 13th, averaging 495 yards per game.
UW and BYU are ranked 50th and 51st respectively in the country in total defense, allowing 382 and 384 total yards per game.
Running plays at a tempo that has often been even faster than the Huskies’ speedy, no-huddle one, BYU’s two most impressive wins this season have been 40-21 at home over Texas on Sept. 7, when the Cougars rushed for a school-record 550 yards, and the win over Boise State. That was the Broncos’ first loss in October since 2001. BYU rolled up 568 yards of offense, 229 on the ground, while running a whopping 91 plays in that game.
The game will also be a Bay Area Christmas homecoming for 11 Huskies players: Travis Feeney (from Richmond, Calif.); Shaq Thompson (Sacramento); Marcus Peters (Oakland); Kevin King (San Leandro); Scott Lawyer (San Jose); Josh Banks (Stockton); DiAndre Campbell (Oakland); Darrell Daniels (Pittsburg); Cleveland Wallace (San Jose); Ross Dolbec (Orinda); and Neel Salukhe (San Jose).
Besides a bowl press conference at AT&T Park that Tuiasosopo and selected players will attend Dec. 23, the Huskies’ other scheduled, public bowl events include a team boat ride and visit to Alcatraz Island for a two-hour visit to the infamous prison plus a team visit on Christmas morning to the renowned Glide Memorial Church and Kitchen in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.
The Huskies are the sixth Pac-12 team to play in the 12-year history of the Fight Hunger Bowl, which guarantees a $1 million payout to each participating program. The bowl had the sixth selection from the conference, and when two-loss Oregon was left out of the Bowl Championship Series Sunday as an at-large team the Huskies got in a line that led them to San Francisco.
The Huskies are 4-4 all-time against BYU. They have met twice in the last 14 years. The most recent meeting was the 2010 opener in Provo, Utah, which UW lost 23-17 in the final minutes.
This will be Washington’s second game in San Francisco in 124 years of UW football. The other time was Nov. 7, 1942, when the Huskies played Stanford at old Kezar Stadium west of downtown inside Golden Gate Park.
Playing a football game in the Giants’ home baseball park requires some unique arrangements, such as the two teams having their bench areas next to each other along the same sideline.
The Huskies have been allotted 11,000 tickets for the Fight Hunger Bowl. Fans can begin purchasing tickets online here, or by phone beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m. by calling the Husky Ticket Office at (206) 543-2200. Fans may also buy bowl tickets in person at 3910 Montlake Boulevard in Seattle Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Season-ticket holders have a deadline of this Friday, Dec. 13, to claim priority seat locations for the game.