Dec. 1, 2003
BERKELEY - The University of California, which claimed four of its last five games to secure the first back-to-back winning football seasons at the school in 12 years, has accepted an invitation to play Virginia Tech in the 2003 Insight Bowl at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Ariz., on Friday, Dec. 26 at 5 p.m. PST, Cal Athletic Director Stephen C. Gladstone announced today.
The Golden Bears, who posted a 7-6 overall record and third-place tie (5-3) in the Pacific-10 Conference standings, will be making their first postseason bowl appearance since Steve Mariucci's 1996 team went 6-6 and received an invitation to the Aloha Bowl. The Insight Bowl will be televised nationally on ESPN and carried locally on KGO Radio (810 AM, San Francisco) and the Golden Bears Radio Network.
"We are delighted to accept this invitation to play in the Insight Bowl," said Gladstone. "This is a tremendous reward for our student-athletes, Coach (Jeff) Tedford and his coaching staff, and the entire Cal community. We are equally thrilled to play a quality Big East opponent like Virginia Tech. It promises to be a great matchup."
Virginia Tech, which was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally earlier this season, finished the regular season with an 8-4 record. Coach Frank Beamer's Hokies will be making their 11th consecutive bowl appearance this year.
"Playing in a bowl game was one of our primary goals this year, so today's announcement represents a milestone for this team and the Cal football program," said Tedford. "We certainly hope that many Cal fans will travel to Phoenix and offer the same great support we received throughout the season. We're excited about starting preparations for the game today.
The Bears will commence their practice schedule Tuesday at 3 p.m., the first of 11 workouts scheduled at Memorial Stadium before the team departs for the desert on Sunday, Dec. 21.
Cal has received a limited amount of prime seats for the Insight Bowl game. Tickets, priced at $52.00 each, can be ordered online by clicking here or calling (800) GO BEARS. Preferential treatment will be given to Cal fans that order their tickets by Dec. 12.