Washington State and Michigan State Announced in Top 20 Match-up for 40th Annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl

Marking the game’s first match-up of teams ranked nationally in the top 20 since 2008, Michigan State University (No. 16) and Washington State University (No. 18) have accepted invitations to play in the 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. The college football bowl game is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. at SDCCU Stadium. 

Michigan State finished the regular season 9-3 (and 7-2 in the Big Ten). The Spartans notched victories against top 10-ranked teams Michigan and Penn State. The team is led by 11th year head coach Mark Dantonio.

The Spartans will be making their first appearance in the SDCCU Holiday Bowl. This will be Michigan State’s 10th bowl game appearance under Dantonio, the most for any coach in the program’s history.  The Spartans’ overall bowl game record is 11-15.

Washington State completed the regular season 9-3 (and 6-3 in the Pac-12). Their victories against nationally ranked teams included USC and Stanford. Cougars head coach Mike Leach is now in his sixth year leading the program.

This year will mark Washington State’s fourth time competing in the SDCCU Holiday Bowl, where their record is 1-2. The Cougars lost to Minnesota 17-12 in 2016. Washington State beat Texas 28-20 in 2003, and lost to BYU 38-36 in 1981. The program’s overall bowl game record is 7-6.

The game will feature one of the nation’s top passing offenses in Washington State, against a stout Michigan State defense. Led by quarterback Luke Falk, the Cougars passed for 4,497 yards in 2017 (averaging 374 yards per game), along with 35 touchdowns. The Spartan defense held opponents to 196 passing yards per game in 2017, and tallied 28 sacks and 13 interceptions (including five by safety David Dowell).

Michigan State and Washington State have played head-to-head seven times, with the Spartans leading the series 5-2. The two teams last played in 1977.

This year’s game will be televised nationally on FS1, with pregame coverage beginning at 5:30 P.M. Each year the SDCCU Holiday Bowl matches up football teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences.

The SDCCU Holiday Bowl is a nonprofit organization and has a mission of generating tourism, exposure, economic benefit and civic pride for San Diego and its citizens by producing the nation's most exciting bowl game and festival of events. For more information and tickets call 619-283-5808, or visit at

For any additional information, please contact Rick Schloss at (619) 708-6007 or via email at