ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Dec. 17, 2010) - As the BYU football team comes ever closer to kicking off the New Mexico Bowl against UTEP tomorrow, the Cougars participated in the final bowl festivities on Friday.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall and team captains Andrew Rich and Matt Reynolds preceded the team to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to participate in a press conference which included UTEP head coach Mike Price and the UTEP captains.
Following the press conference, the trio joined up with their teammates and the rest of the BYU travel party, including wives and staff members, to participate in the Kickoff Luncheon. The UTEP contingent also joined in with New Mexico Bowl Executive Director Jeff Siembieda emceeing the event.
After everyone was seated, each school's band came into the hall and took turns playing, including both university fight songs, complete with cheerleaders and mascots.
The group then enjoyed lunch as Siembieda and others, including Coach Mendenhall, said a few words.
The Cougars returned to the hotel for a quick respite before going to the University of New Mexico's campus for a brief walk through as final preparation for the game. Chad Lewis and several players joined the band and cheer squad with fans at the Pep Rally as well.
BYU ended the evening with its traditional fireside where BJ Peterson, Jameson Frazier and Coach Mendenhall spoke. Travis Uale and his wife, Mata, performed a musical number as did Walter Kahaiali'i.
A visit from Santa Claus at the hotel ended the busy day for the Cougars, all set to face UTEP at noon tomorrow live on ESPN.