Sun Devil football accepts bid to play in Pacific Life Holiday Bowl

December 2, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following a 10-2 regular season and a share of the Pac-10 Conference Championship, the Arizona State University football team has accepted a bid to play in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against Texas Longhorns (9-3, 5-3 Big XII), the Bowl announced Sunday. The game will be played inside Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., and will kick at 5 p.m. PST (6 p.m. Arizona) on December 27. ESPN will provide both national television and national radio coverage of the game.

"We're excited about going to the Holiday Bowl," Head Coach Dennis">"... Erickson said. "We get to play Texas. That's a great program, a historic program, and great opportunity for us. As I said last night after the game, we have no control over the BCS; all we can do is go out there and play football. Which we did a good job of 10 times. That's something that they have to deal with and they dealt with it and they did the best they can do with they system. This is just how it is. Our players are really excited about going where we're going. First we've got to focus on finals. We're excited about going to San Diego. That's a great bowl game." Download Full Image

"We are just so excited, finishing the year as Pac-10 Co-Champions and 10-2 and successful last night in our very, important rival game," Vice President for University Athletics Lisa Love said. "Playing a perennial power like the University of Texas, December 27th in the Holiday Bowl, which, by the way, is wonderfully hosted by that committee. This is a great, step forward. This is exactly what we wanted to do. We are very pleased to be mentioned in the same breathe as a program like Texas."

The Sun Devils, who have never faced the Longhorns, finished ranked No. 11 in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings, ranked No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 12 in the AP rankings while Texas was No. 19 in the BCS while holding the No. 17 positions in both the coaches and AP rankings.

With a 10-2 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the league, the Sun Devils are coming off a 20-17 defeat of rival Arizona in Tempe Saturday night. The Sun Devils will compete in a bowl game for the fourth-year in a row and will appearing in the Holiday Bowl for the third time in program history. ASU last played in the Holiday Bowl on December 27, 2002, where it fell, 34-17, to Kansas State. The Sun Devils' first Holiday Bowl appearance came on December 22, 1985, where Arkansas defeated ASU, 18-17.

The Sun Devils, who will be playing their 23rd bowl game, will look to improve on their 12-9-1 all-time bowl record and rebound from a 42-21 loss to Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl last season. Prior to that, ASU had won two bowl games in a row, defeating Rutgers in the 2005 Insight Bowl (45-40) after defeating Purdue in the 2004 Sun Bowl (27-23), which snapped a three-game bowl losing streak.

Texas finished second in the South Division of the Big XII behind Oklahoma and is coming off a 38-30 loss at Texas A&M. The Longhorns will be making their fourth Holiday Bowl appearance and its first since 2003 when it fell to Washington State, 28-20. Texas also will making its 47th bowl appearance, which ranks second all-time in NCAA history behind Alabama (54). The Longhorns have won three bowl games in a row, including a 26-24 defeat of Iowa in the 2006 Alamo Bowl and a 41-38 defeat of USC to win the BCS Championship at the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Ticket information (prices and availability) for Sun Devil fans will be made public at a later date. Fans are encouraged to visit">"> as more information will be posted on the official ASU Athletics site once it is made available. Fans can also visit">"> or call TicketMaster (619-220-8497) to purchase tickets.

Arizona State All-Time in Bowl Games (12-9-1)
2006 - Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - Hawaii 42, ASU 21
2005 - Insight Bowl - ASU 45, Rutgers 40
2004 - Sun Bowl - ASU 27, Purdue 23
2002 - Pacific Life Holiday Bowl - Kansas State 34, ASU 27
2000 - Aloha Bowl - Boston College 31, ASU 17
1999 - Aloha Bowl - Wake Forest 23, ASU 3
1997 - Sun Bowl - ASU 17, Iowa 7
1997 - Rose Bowl - Ohio State 20, ASU 17
1987 - Freedom Bowl - ASU 33, Air Force 28
1987 - Rose Bowl - ASU 22, Michigan 15
1985 - Holiday Bowl - Arkansas 18, ASU 17
1983 - Fiesta Bowl - ASU 32, Oklahoma 21
1978 - Garden State Bowl - ASU 34, Rutgers 18
1977 - Fiesta Bowl - Penn State 42, ASU 30
1975 - Fiesta Bowl - ASU 17, Nebraska 14
1973 - Fiesta Bowl - ASU 28, Pittsburgh 7
1972 - Fiesta Bowl - ASU 49, Missouri 35
1971 - Fiesta Bowl - ASU 45, Florida State 38
1970 - Peach Bowl - ASU 48, North Carolina 26
1951 - Salad Bowl - Miami (Ohio) 34, ASU 21
1950 - Salad Bowl - Xavier (Ohio) 33, ASU 21
1941 - Sun Bowl - Case Western Reserve 26, ASU 13
1940 - Sun Bowl - ASU 0, Catholic U. 0

Head Coach Dennis">"... Erickson in Bowl Games (5-5)
2007 - Pacific Life Holiday Bowl - vs. Texas
2002 - Insight Bowl - Pittsburgh 38, Oregon State 13
2001 - Fiesta Bowl - Oregon State 41, Notre Dame 9
1999 - Oahu Bowl - Hawaii 23, Oregon State 17
1995 - Orange Bowl - Nebraska 24, Miami 17
1994 - Orange Bowl - Arizona 29, Miami 0
1993 - Sugar Bowl - Alabama 34, Miami 13
1992 - Orange Bowl - Miami 22, Nebraska 0
1991 - Cotton Bowl - Miami 46, Texas 3
1990 - Sugar Bowl - Miami 33, Alabama 25 (National Champions)
1988 - Aloha Bowl - Washington State 24, Houston 22

ASU Student Athletes of the Month announced

December 3, 2007

By Matt Storey, ASU Media Relations

Elizabeth Harkin of the women's soccer team and Steve Jones of the men's basketball team have been named Student-Athletes of the Month, the Office of Student-Athlete Development announced Monday. Download Full Image

Harkin, a sophomore pre-health/biology major, currently has a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the Barrett Honors College.

She was selected as a Scholar Baller captain for the soccer team this semester, as she provided leadership to her team in character, accountability and responsibility throughout the season.

In November, CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) selected Harkin to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII second team.

She balanced her academics with her responsibilities on the field, managing the team's busy travel schedule this fall by taking exams on the road while playing in all 19 of the team's matches this season.

In addition, Harkin is a frequent volunteer for a local animal shelter and rescue center.

"Liz displays the same tenacity and dedication in the classroom as she does on the soccer field," ASU biology professor Stanley Faeth said. "She is excelling in both the lecture and laboratory in BIO 187 and is able to effectively juggle the rigorous demands of academia and sports."

Jones, a junior BIS major focusing on mass communication and communications, is maintaining a 3.22 GPA this semester while taking 18 credit hours.

This semester, Jones has challenged himself to improve his academic record, and he plans to apply to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the spring.

"Steve has really grown academically this semester and has challenged himself to reach his original goal of majoring in broadcast journalism," men's basketball academic coach Sabrina Thomas said. "He has tremendous work ethic and keeps a positive attitude and outlook no matter what the situation."

Jones' work ethic and attitude on and off the court have made him a role model to his teammates, and he is considered to be one of the team's most enthusiastic players.

He played in 27 games last season, making six of his 15 3-point attempts, and he has appeared in two games so far this year.