Utah to the Sun Bowl

Utah will face Georgia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

Here's the official release:

Georgia Tech and the University of Utah have both accepted invitations to participate in the 78th annual Hyundai Sun Bowl, announced Sun Bowl Association football selection committee chairman John H. Folmer. The game will pit the Yellow Jackets and Utes on Saturday, Dec. 31 at noon (MST) at Sun Bowl Stadium. The game will be broadcast for the 44th consecutive year on CBS.

“We’re tremendously excited about a great matchup between two great programs from outstanding conferences,” said Mike Rogers, Sun Bowl Association president. “Georgia Tech defeated ACC champion Clemson earlier this season while Utah comes to El Paso having won five of their last seven games.”

The 2011 Hyundai Sun Bowl will mark the second meeting between these two teams. The only other meeting was in the 2005 Emerald Bowl when Utah defeated a 13th-ranked Georgia Tech, 38-10.

“This matchup provides El Paso the opportunity to see two great scoring offenses with very contrasting styles of play,” Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas said. “This game has a potential to be a high-scoring affair.

Georgia Tech (8-4, 5-3 ACC) finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division and is making its second appearance in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The Yellow Jackets defeated Texas Tech, 17-9, on Dec. 19, 1970.

"Our team is excited for the opportunity to play in the Hyundai Sun Bowl," Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. "Our players worked hard this season and we're excited to have another game to play.

"We will face a very good Utah team that played its best football down the stretch. Coach (Kyle) Whittingham and his staff do a very good job and they will be very prepared."

This is the Yellow Jackets’ 15th consecutive bowl appearance, tied for the fourth-longest active streak among FBS schools, and will play in their 40th bowl game overall (22-17) tying for the 12th most nationally.

Utah (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12), is also making their second appearance in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The Utes shut out New Mexico, 26-0, on New Year’s Day in 1939. It marks the 10th bowl in 11 years for the Utes and the seventh under head coach Kyle Whittingham and the program’s 17th appearance in a bowl game.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to represent the Pac-12 Conference in the Sun Bowl,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “This is a longstanding and prestigious bowl game and we are looking forward to playing in El Paso. A Utah team has not played in this bowl in over 70 years so there should be a lot of intrigue and interest from our fan base and around the country.

“We’re proud that yet another Utah senior class will be playing in its fourth postseason game and that is a testament to the commitment our players bring to the program year in and year out.”