PROVO -- Brigham Young University men's athletics director Val Hale today announced 25th-ranked BYU has accepted an offer to participate in the 1999 Motor City Bowl in Pontiac, Mich. The game, which will be played in the Pontiac Silverdome (home of the NFL's Detroit Lions) on Monday, Dec. 27, will match the Cougars (8-3) with either No. 11 Marshall (11-0) or Western Michigan (7-4). The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. (EST) and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Marsall and Western Michigan will square off on Friday in the Mid-American Conference Championship game, which will be televised live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. (EST). The winner will receive the bowl's automatic bid to face the Cougars in the third-annual Motor City Bowl.
"We are excited to accept an invitation to play in the Motor City Bowl in front of our fans in the Midwest," Hale said. "If Marshall should beat Western Michigan, a BYU vs. Marshall matchup would be one of the premier matchups of the bowl season, featuring two nationally ranked teams and two of the top quarterbacks in the country. Our coaches and players are also excited to be playing in a domed stadium for the first time in school history. We're looking forward to spending the Christmas season in Detroit and invite our fans to join us for an exciting event."
Legendary BYU head coach LaVell Edwards said he is excited about the opportunity and is looking forward to playing the winner of this weekend's MAC Championship game.
"When this was presented to me a week or so ago, it seemed like the most intriguing matchup for us," Edwards said. "The coaching staff and players are excited about the opportunity to play in the Motor City Bowl against a quality opponent from the MAC."
The Cougars will be making only their fourth trip to the state of Michigan in the history of the program and will be playing its first-ever game in a domed stadium. The Cougars have posted a 1-2 record when playing in Michigan, but have recorded a 4-2 record against teams from the state. BYU is 3-2 against Western Michigan, dating back to the 1962 season, but have never faced Marshall.
"We are delighted to have BYU in the Motor City Bowl," said Ken Hoffman, executive director. "BYU's national appeal, combined with its national ranking and great reputation offer an outstanding opponent for the MAC Champion. We know the television rating will be high, as will the enthusiasm in the Silverdome."
BYU BOWL QUICK FACTS: BYU's invitation to the Motor City Bowl will mark the Cougars' 22nd bowl appearance since 1974. The bowl game will also mark the team's eighth bowl appearance in the 90s, including the team's second straight bowl invitation. Over the past 25 years, the Cougars will have participated in 11 different bowls, including 11 appearances in the Holiday Bowl. Should Marshall defeat Western Michigan, this year's game would also mark the second straight season BYU has faced an undefeated team in a bowl game. If Marshall should be upset by Western Michigan in the MAC Championship game on Friday, the Cougars would face the Broncos in the Motor City Bowl, marking the sixth meeting between the two schools. BYU owns 3-2 record in the series that dates back to Nov. 10, 1962. The two teams have not met since Sept. 19, 1970. The Cougars have posted a 7-13-1 record in bowl games over the past 25 years and have won two of their last three postseason appearances.