With the festivities winding down at the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the highlight of the day was both teams together at a luncheon on board the USS Midway in San Diego.
The USS Midway was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the lead ship of her class. Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, the Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, and saw active duty for over 47 years, being decommissioned in 1992 and becoming a museum ship for the public to enjoy.
Both teams joined together in the hull of the ship for lunch and a short program. The teams were honored for their regular season accomplishments while guests from the Poinsettia Bowl, city officials and other special guests spoke. Children from the Make-A-Wish program in San Diego were also recognized.
BYU and SDSU will each have an honorary captain on game day, a young fan from Make-A-Wish San Diego. The kids were given team jerseys with their name on it and will participate in various activities at the game.
Each team honored a player with a most inspirational player award. The Cougars chose senior running back David Foote, a former walk-on, for his determination, example and heart. The Aztecs gave the award to senior running back Walter Kazee.
After the luncheon players were able to roam the decks of the ship, ride in flight simulators, look at the airplanes on board and learn about the various functions and history of the USS Midway.
The team gathered in the afternoon following the luncheon for the official team photo for the year and a walk-through for the game.
Earlier in the day, head coach Bronco Mendenhall and SDSU coach Rocky Long met with the media for a pregame press conference. Each coach spoke briefly at the podium before speaking in a more casual setting with reporters later on.
Mendenhall talked about how his players balance family and fun with bowl game preparations and Long discussed how despite being in a home game setting with his team they have enjoyed the bowl atmosphere.
As usual, BYU participated in a fireside in the evening. It was a special Christmas themed program, featuring lots of musical numbers. Players and coaches hung around after to meet fans and members of the community to visit and take pictures.
BYU will face off against the Aztecs tomorrow with kickoff from Qualcomm Stadium at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN.
Photos by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo and Brett Pyne