2014 Las Vegas Bowl schedule and coverage: Colorado State vs. Utah
Sin City opens its arms to college football fans everywhere.
The Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl may not get a ton of attention nationally, but it’s a pretty sweet deal for everyone involved. This year, it’s Colorado State vs. Utah.
For one, the game is just a couple of miles away from the Las Vegas Strip. There’s something for everyone on the strip. The weather in Vegas is almost always beautiful in December. As the rest of the country hits a deep freeze, the folks checking out the game may be able to go in shorts and a T-shirt. There’s also the timing factor; with the game being played on Dec. 20, it allows football fans plenty of time to head back home for the holidays without having to deal with insane travel days. Sounds like a pretty good deal. And fans are usually treated to a pretty good game between Pac-12 and Mountain West Conference foes.
Here’s all you need to know about this year’s game:
Date and time, ET: Saturday, Dec. 20, 3:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Las Vegas
Stadium: Sam Boyd Stadium; 40,000
Last year’s attendance: 42,178
Last year’s TV rating: 1.9
Last year’s payout for each school: $1 million
Team with the most all-time appearances: BYU Cougars, five
Team with the most all-time wins: BYU, Boise State Broncos, three
Colorado State (10-2, 6-2 Mountain West)
When Florida comes calling for your head coach, you know you had a good season, and while Colorado State missed out on being the Group of Five’s representative in a New Year’s Six bowl, the Rams still had an impressive year and have positioned themselves as one of the teams to be reckoned with in the (finally) stabilizing Mountain West.
CSU lost to two quality teams in Boise State and Air Force, but it also got a nice road win over Boston College, demolished its weakening in-state rival, Colorado, and took care of business elsewhere in the Mountain West. The Rams have been led by star quarterback Garrett Grayson and Alabama transfer Dee Hart at running back. If the offense shows up, the CSU could be in line for an impressive 11-win season.
Last bowl game: 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl vs. Washington State, 48-45 win
All-time bowl record: 6-7
Head coach’s bowl record: Dave Baldwin (interim), 0-0
Utah Utes (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12)
Utah was perhaps the biggest surprise in the Pac-12 this season, as Kyle Whittingham put together one of his stronger coaching jobs to make the Utes bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. Utah’s big victories came against UCLA, USC and Stanford.
Utah’s strength comes on the defensive end. It led the conference in sacks thanks to star senior Nate Orchard, who recorded 17.5 on the season (and 20 tackles for a loss). On offense, running back Devontae Booker (1,350 yards, nine touchdowns) leads the way.
Last bowl game: 2011 Sun Bowl vs. Georgia Tech, 30-27 win
All-time bowl record: 13-4
Head coach’s bowl record: Kyle Whittingham, 6-1