ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The field is set for the eighth annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl with the Washington State Cougars accepting the invitation offered by the Gildan New Mexico Bowl today. The game, slated for Saturday, Dec. 21, at Noon MT/2 p.m. ET, pits the Pac-12 member against the Colorado State Rams for the first time. Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, the bowl game will kick off the FBS postseason from University Stadium on the University of New Mexico campus and airing nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

³It¹s great to be able to welcome the Washington State Cougars back to the college football post season, and for the first time have them in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl,² said Jeff Siembieda, Gildan New Mexico Bowl Executive Director. ³The Cougs are an exciting team with a marquee passing attack and a passionate fan base that has been very vocal about wanting to be here with their team. And it¹s great to have head coach Mike Leach on the sidelines in Albuquerque. Local football fans have been yearning to see him here for a long time.²
The Cougars are bowl eligible for the first time in a decade. Their last bowl game was the 2003 Holiday Bowl, where they edged past Texas, 28-20. Overall, Washington State is 6-4 in the postseason.

Washington State is 6-6 overall and 4-5 in conference play. The Cougars are led by senior safety Deone Bucannon, who is a first team All-Pac-12 Conference honoree. Bucannon led the Pac-12 in tackles with 109, his second straight 100-tackle season. On the other side of the ball, WSU is led by junior quarterback Connor Halliday, who is fourth in the country in passing yards (4,187).

Tickets, which are on sale now, range from $25-$40 and can be purchased at the University of New Mexico Ticket Office located in The Pit, online at, or by calling 925-LOBO or 925-5999.