Fresno State Invited To AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Nov. 22, 2005
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State's seventh consecutive bowl appearance will be a special one. The Bulldogs were invited today to participate in the 47th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis. This is Fresno State's first appearance in a bowl located east of the Mississippi River.
The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is scheduled for 10 a.m. PT Dec. 31, 2005 and will be televised live on ESPN. Fresno State will face the first selection from Conference USA.
"We are thrilled to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl," said head coach Pat Hill, who has guided the Bulldogs to an 8-2 record and No. 16 ranking in the national polls. "This is going to be a great experience for our team and our fans to participate in such a historic bowl game. The tradition and history of this bowl is something we have never experienced. Going to Memphis will also be a great experience. It's a great city. The bowl has been established and is a wonderful tradition in Memphis. There are many great events planned for the teams and fans. We are very excited."
The Bulldogs, who own the longest active bowl streak in the Western United States at seven games, has won three consecutive bowl games, defeating Georgia Tech 30-21 in the 2002 Silicon Valley Football Classic, UCLA 17-9 in the 2002 SVFC, and last season beating No. 18 Virginia 37-34 in the MPC Computers Bowl.
Last season's AutoZone Liberty Bowl featured Louisville defeating Boise State 44-40 in one of the best games of the bowl season.
Previous Liberty Bowl participants include Penn State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, USC and Nebraska.
Some coaching legends that have been participated in the bowl include Paul "Bear" Bryant, Joe Paterno, Johnny Majors, Vince Dooley, John McKay, Tom Osborne and Frank Broyles.
Four Heisman Trophy winners have played in the Liberty Bowl, including Doug Flutie, Bo Jackson, Ernie Davis and Terry Baker.
Each of the last seven AutoZone Liberty Bowls drew crowds over 50,000. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl offers a $1.5 million payout to each participating team. In Fresno State's case, that money will go to the WAC conference and dispersed to the WAC membership. Fresno State expects to receive approximately $600,000 before expenses.
Under Hill, the Bulldogs are making a school record seventh-consecutive bowl appearance. The Bulldogs will be making their 20th bowl appearance and are 11-8 all-time in bowl games. Fresno State has the WAC's longest bowl streak at seven games.
"Fresno State football fans from throughout the San Joaquin Valley are well known for faithfully traveling with their beloved Bulldogs to personally cheer on the team and celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of Coach Hill, his staff and student-athletes," said Thomas Boeh, Director of Athletics. "This trip to Memphis represents the first time that a Fresno State football team will travel east of the Rocky Mountains for a bowl game and it provides Coach Hill's football program a terrific venue to take another large step towards achieving the goal of consistent national prominence for Fresno State."
"The Liberty Bowl has long been regarded as one of the nation's premiere bowl experiences for both fans and participants alike. As a destination city, Memphis provides many special attractions and activities and Fresno State fans will have the unique opportunity to enjoy the New Year's holiday in a truly historical setting and a very special college football environment. It is our sincere hope that a great number of members of the famed Red Wave will take this unique opportunity to be part of an historic time in Bulldog history while they enjoy a wonderful time in Memphis."
Fresno State fans will be treated to a special "California Dreaming" welcome in Memphis as The Beach Boys will perform during the bowl activities and hold a concert at halftime of the game.
Among the other planned activities during in conjunction with the bowl include the traditional Liberty Bowl Parade on world-famous Beale Street, the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl Professional Rodeo, the President's Dinner and Dance Gala at the historic Peabody Hotel, and a pre-game buffet and battle of the bands.
Memphis is the home of Graceland, Elvis Presley's mansion, historic Beale Street and Mud Island. New Year's Eve on Beale Street rivals New Orleans' Bourbon Street for cuisine and excitement.
All ticket orders will be taken through the Bulldog Ticket Office beginning Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005. Bulldog Foundation Members and season ticket holders will receive an order form in the mail and be granted first priority through December 12. General public orders will be allocated beginning Dec. 13.
Bulldog fans are urged to support the Fresno State Athletics Department by ordering all tickets through the Fresno State Ticket Office. Ticket prices for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl are $45 each.
Fantastic Sports has been designated as the official travel partner for Fresno State's bowl game and will provide comprehensive tour packages for fans, including travel, hotel accommodations, bowl activities and game tickets.
Information regarding the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, including game tickets and travel packages, is available on www.gobulldogs.com.
For more information about the AutoZone Liberty Bowl or the city of Memphis, visit: