Dec. 5, 2004
BERKELEY - No. 4 California will face Texas Tech in the 27th annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Dec. 30 at 5 p.m. PT at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
The Golden Bears (10-1), despite being ranked fourth in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, finished fifth in the final BCS standings behind Texas, ending the team's dream of playing in the Rose Bowl. Instead, Cal faces a 7-4 Red Raider squad that is rated 23rd by AP and 21st by ESPN/USA Today.
"The Pacific Life Holiday Bowl looks forward to welcoming the Golden Bears, Red Raiders and all their fans to San Diego for the 27th Pacific Life Holiday Bowl," bowl president Larry Blumberg said. "Our city is going to roll out the red carpet for them, and we're sure they'll return the favor with an exciting football game."
Cal beat Southern Miss, 26-16, Saturday to post the school's first 10-win regular season since 1949.
"It is an honor for us to be playing in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl this year," said 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Jeff Tedford. "We know it's a bowl with great tradition and we look forward to playing an outstanding Texas Tech team. To spend a week in San Diego, with all the warm hospitality provided by the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl people, is a great reward for our players who had a tremendous season."
This fall, the Bears featured a balanced unit that is the only school in the country to rank among the nation's top six in both scoring offense and defense. Senior tailback J.J. Arrington headlined a rushing attack that averaged 260 yards per game. He is the only player in the nation to rush for at least 100 yards in every game he has played this season. On defense, the Bears rank third nationally in rush defense, allowing just 83 yards per game, and they are 13th in total defense, surrendering 296 yards per game. The defense was led by defensive end Ryan Riddle. His 14.5 sacks this season broke a school record of 13.5 sacks established by Andre Carter in 2000.
This is the first trip to the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl for Cal, and it marks just the second time a team from the state of California has played in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. San Diego State University played in the 1986 bowl game.
Texas Tech finished its regular season with a 7-4 overall record, 5-3 in the Big 12 Conference. The Red Raiders' 31-15 victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Nov. 27 insured that the school will finish with at least seven wins for the fifth consecutive season.
"We are excited for the opportunity and appreciate the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl for selecting Texas Tech," Red Raiders head coach Mike Leach said. "Our coaching staff and players are looking forward to facing Cal in San Diego later this month. We owe a great deal of gratitude to our fans for their support throughout the season to help us get to this point, and would like to encourage them to continue that support in San Diego."
Tech is led by senior quarterback Sonny Cumbie, who is the third Red Raider signal caller in the last three years to lead the country in passing. Cumbie has 4,222 yards on the season and needs 265 to become one of the NCAA's Top 10 single-season passers. Additionally, senior linebacker Mike Smith leads a defensive unit that ranks 42nd nationally and bolsters the nations 13th-ranked pass defense, while All-Big 12 Conference first team selection Danny Amendola is one of the nation's top punt returners.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
For more information on the Holiday Bowl, visit the bowl website at www.PacificLifeHolidayBowl.com.