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BYU football: Cougars to play Washington in Fight Hunger Bowl

Published: Sunday, Dec. 8 2013 8:05 p.m. MST

Washington's Bishop Sankey smiles after the team beat Washington State in an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Seattle. Washington won the annual Apple Cup, 27-17. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (Elaine Thompson, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Washington's Bishop Sankey smiles after the team beat Washington State in an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Seattle. Washington won the annual Apple Cup, 27-17. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (Elaine Thompson, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

PROVO — BYU will face an interim coach, and one of the nation’s top running backs, in the Fight Hunger Bowl.

Bowl officials announced Sunday that the Cougars (8-4) will take on Washington (8-4) in San Francisco on Dec. 27 (7:30 p.m. MST, ESPN) at AT&T Park.

The Huskies will be led by interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo, who takes over for former BYU quarterback Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian guided Washington’s football program for five seasons before taking the head coaching job at USC last week.

Chris Petersen, Boise State’s former head coach, will officially take over as Washington’s head coach after the bowl game.

This season, the Huskies finished with their best record since 2001. Washington had put together three consecutive seven-win seasons in a row before this year.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to play the University of Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco,” said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “I’m proud of our team. We are excited to be in the postseason for the ninth straight year with a chance to grow our program facing an outstanding football program.”

It marks the first appearance in the Fight Hunger Bowl for both teams.

The Cougar defense is expected to have its hands full with Washington junior running back Bishop Sankey, who has rushed for 1,775 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. Sankey broke Corey Dillon’s 17-year-old school record for most rushing yards in a season by a Washington running back.

Meanwhile, BYU has won a school-record four consecutive bowl games, with victories over Oregon State (2009 Las Vegas Bowl), UTEP (2010 New Mexico Bowl), Tulsa (2011 Armed Forces Bowl) and San Diego State (2012 Poinsettia Bowl).

“What an exciting opportunity for the Cougars to travel to the great city of San Francisco for the Fight Hunger Bowl and to play Washington from the Pac-12,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement. “Our coaches, players and fans will love the holiday season in San Francisco. It’s great to be able to add to the wonderful bowl tradition that is long associated with BYU football.”

BYU and Washington played one common opponent this season — Boise State. Both the Cougars and Huskies defeated the Broncos. Washington won its first four games of the season, beginning with a 38-6 thumping of Boise State. After suffering through a three-game losing streak midway through the campaign, the Huskies finished strong, winning four of their last five games. Washington finished third in the Pac-12 North Division, behind No. 5 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon.

“We’re very excited to have been selected to play in the Fight Hunger Bowl,” said Washington athletic director Scott Woodward. “The game will be a new experience for our program and the many Husky fans in the Bay Area, and I am confident it will be a great one. Interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo will have the team ready to compete against a great opponent.”

BYU and Washington have met eight times, with the series tied 4-4. The Cougars have won three straight games against the Huskies, including a 23-17 win for BYU in Provo in the most recent contest in 2010.

Tickets for the Fight Hunger Bowl can be purchased at BYUtickets.com or by calling 800-322-BYU1. Ticket prices start at $25.

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