Washington Accepts Bid to Wells Fargo Sun Bowl

Dec. 8, 2002

Seattle - Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges announced today that Washington has accepted an invitation to participate in the 69th annual Wells Fargo Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on Dec. 31. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT (noon in El Paso). The Huskies (7-5, 4-4) will face Purdue (6-6, 4-4) from the Big Ten Conference. The game will mark Washington's fourth appearance in the Sun Bowl. The Wells Fargo Sun Bowl is televised nationally by CBS Sports.

The game will be a rematch of the 2001 Rose Bowl that saw the fourth-ranked Huskies defeat No. 14 Purdue 34-24.

'We are very excited to return to El Paso,' Hedges said. 'The Sun Bowl is one of the oldest bowl games and they do a tremendous job of hosting the participating schools. I think our team, coaches and staff will have a great experience and we are looking forward to playing Purdue.'

Washington's bowl invitation marks the eighth straight season that the Huskies will make a postseason appearance and the 12th straight season they've gone bowling when eligible. The UW has been to a bowl game in 20 of its last 23 seasons (1988, 1993, 1994 the only exceptions) and 20 of the last 21 when eligible. Washington is 15-13-1 all-time in bowl games, 1-2 under coach Rick Neuheisel.

'This is a great deal for us,' Husky coach Rick Neuheisel said. 'I told our players this week that if we are fortunate enough to move all the way up to the Sun Bowl's selection, they'll have a great time in El Paso. I was there in 1991 as an assistant coach at UCLA and was very impressed by the great hospitality they provide and how big this game is to the community. We're looking forward to playing Purdue. We had a great game with them in the Rose Bowl and I expect the same this year in the Sun Bowl.'

Washington's previous Sun Bowl appearances came in 1979, 1986 and 1995. The Huskies are 1-2 in previous appearances including a 14-7 victory against Texas in 1979, a 28-6 loss to Alabama in 1986 and a 38-18 loss to Iowa in its most recent appearance.

This year's Wells Fargo Sun Bowl will be the 10th meeting between the Huskies and Boilermakers. Washington is 7-1-1 all-time against Purdue in a series that dates back to the 1961 season. The Huskies are 3-1-1 against Purdue at Husky Stadium, 3-0-0 at Ross-Ade Stadium and 1-0 at the Rose Bowl. Rick Neuheisel is 1-0 against Purdue coach Joe Tiller.

This year's Wells Fargo Sun Bowl will feature two of the top wide receivers in the nation. Washington All-American Reggie Williams currently ranks fifth in the nation in receiving yards per game with an average of 115.83. He's eighth in receptions per game at 7.42. Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield is 11th in receiving yards (100.17) and is fifth in receptions per game (7.78). Husky quarterback Cody Pickett is fourth in the nation in total offense (332.8 yards per game).

Tickets for the Wells Fargo Sun Bowl are available from the Washington Ticket Office (206) 543-2210 or can be ordered on-line at Washington's website gohuskies.com

Here's a look at the UW's all-time bowl performances:

1924 Rose Navy T, 14-14
1926 Rose Alabama L, 19-20
1937 Rose Pittsburgh L, 0-21
1938 Pineapple Hawaii W, 53-13
1944 Rose USC L, 0-29
1960 Rose Wisconsin W, 44-8
1961 Rose Minnesota W, 17-7
1964 Rose Illlinois L, 7-17
1978 Rose Michigan W, 24-20
1979 Sun Texas W, 14-7
1981 Rose Michigan L, 6-23
1982 Rose Iowa W, 28-0
1982 Aloha Maryland W, 21-20
1983 Aloha Penn State L, 10-13
1985 Orange Oklahoma W, 28-17
1985 Freedom Colorado W, 20-17
1986 Sun Alabama L, 6-28
1987 Independence Tulane W, 24-12
1989 Freedom Florida W, 34-7
1991 Rose Iowa W, 46-34
1992 Rose Michigan W, 34-14
1993 Rose Michigan L, 31-38
1995 Sun Iowa L, 18-38
1996 Holiday Colorado L, 21-33
1997 Aloha Michigan State W, 51-23
1998 Oahu Air Force L, 25-45
1999 Holiday Kansas State L, 20-24
2001 Rose Purdue W, 34-24
2001 Holiday Texas L, 43-47

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