Ducks Secure Spot in San Diego's Culligan Holiday Bowl

Dec. 4, 2000

EUGENE - The University of Oregon accepted an invitation to play in its sixth bowl game in seven seasons when the eighth-ranked Ducks were chosen to face No. 12 Texas in the 23rd annual Culligan Holiday Bowl Dec. 29 in San Diego, Calif.

Kickoff for the game is slated for 5:30 p.m. (PST) Friday in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, and will be nationally televised on ESPN.

For the Ducks, it became a case of 'third time's a charm' as they were in contention for the Southern California showcase each of the last two year, only to have their hopes dashed. The post-season appearance will mark Oregon's first ever Holiday Bowl showing, its fourth straight bowl bid and a fifth post-season opportunity in Mike Bellotti's six-year tenure.

In addition, the school's ninth bowl game in the last 12 years is a feat that is surpassed by only 13 other schools in the country.

The invitation was formally extended by Holiday Bowl President Jim Philion via a 2:30 p.m. Sunday conference call to the Ducks' Director of Athletics Bill Moos and Head Football Coach Mike Bellotti.

'On behalf of the Culligan Holiday Bowl and its board of directors, the Holiday Bowl committee and over 1,200 volunteers and all the citizens of San Diego we're just delighted to invite the co-champions of the Pac-10 Conference to our 23rd annual game,' Philion said. 'We're looking forward to bringing all of the Ducks' fans to San Diego, we know they're going to have a great time. We're thrilled to have the Ducks representing the Pac-10.'

Oregon (9-2) completed its regular season as co-champions of the Pacific-10 Conference, with its only league loss of the year (7-1) occurring at Oregon State, 23-13. Prior to that regular-season finale, the Ducks had held onto the conference lead from the start while equaling their longest single-season winning streak of all time (8) from 1933.

They also achieved their highest national ranking (5th) in school history.

Providing the opposition for the Ducks will be one of the most tradition-rich college football programs in the country as the Texas Longhorns sport an identical 9-2 overall record and 7-1 conference ledger as they finished second in the Big 12's South Division.

It will mark their 40th post-season appearance and their third straight in as many years under the direction of Head Coach Mack Brown.

'We're very happy for Washington and Oregon State to both get into BCS games, thus opening up this opportunity for us,' Bellotti said. 'I think the match-up of two 9-2 teams will result in a great football game -- a very entertaining football game. I did see a little bit of Texas earlier in the year against Stanford , a little bit of them on TV (vs. Texas A&M) the other day, and what I saw was very, very impressive. It's certainly a great challenge to our football players. The opportunity to play a nationally-ranked team with great tradition like Texas has will certainly energize our practice sessions for the next month.'

The Holiday Bowl will mark the fifth meeting ever between the two schools, yet the first since 1971 as the Ducks will be seeking their first win over the former Southwest Conference power.

'It's with a great deal of pride and tremendous enthusiasm that we accept this invitation and I accept it on the behalf of President (Dave) Frohnmayer, everyone associated with the University of Oregon, our great fans and the people of the state of Oregon,' Moos said. 'We're thrilled and excited. We've missed out the last couple of years from being in your great bowl and we are pleased to be playing a team the caliber of the University of Texas.'

Oregon football season ticket holders, Duck Athletic Fund donors and current University students, faculty and staff will receive priority in purchasing tickets from the school's allotment of 11,500 tickets from Monday (Dec. 4) through Wednesday. Beginning Thursday, all remaining tickets will become available to the general public.

The majority of available tickets will sell for $40, plus a $10 per-order express mail charge, while there are a limited number of seats available to University students only for $15. All University staff and student sales must be accompanied with a current University identification card, with students limited to one ticket per student.

Tickets may be purchased with cash, check or a credit card at the Casanova Center Ticket Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by mail or by phone (346-4461 or 1-800-WEBFOOT).

University constituents will be limited to 10 tickets per order through Wednesday's priority deadline, and will have until a Dec. 12 deadline to take advantage of their priority seating option. After that time, all seating will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The UO Alumni Association will sponsor the official University of Oregon Holiday Bowl tour. Packages will depart from both Eugene and Portland to San Diego from Dec. 27-30, which will include round-trip charter air and lodging. Land-only and two-night packages will also be available. For more information, call the University's Holiday Bowl Tour Hotline (541-346-8636) or visit the Alumni Office website at http://alumni.

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