Fresno State

Boise or bust: Dogs elated Humanitarian Bowl opponent is Georgia Tech

FRESNO -- The Bulldogs are going back to Boise.

The Fresno State football team on Sunday accepted an invitation to play in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 31 in Boise, Idaho, against Georgia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

In a turnaround from last season's 4-8 record, Fresno State (8-4) earned its eighth bowl appearance in the past nine seasons. The bowl also will mark the fifth time in coach Pat Hill's 11 seasons that the Bulldogs will face a team from a Bowl Championship Series conference in the postseason.

"It's an exciting night for us, getting back into the postseason after a one-year absence," Hill said Sunday night. "It's great for our team. We're really excited about going to Boise to play an outstanding team in Georgia Tech.

"We're thrilled for the opportunity to be back in the postseason. That's where we belong."

The last time the Bulldogs played a bowl in Boise was 2004, when Fresno State upset No. 18 Virginia 37-34 in overtime.

The Fresno State-Georgia Tech pairing also is a rematch of the 2002 Silicon Valley Football Classic, which the Bulldogs won 30-21 in San Jose.

Fresno State landed in the Humanitarian Bowl after Western Athletic Conference champion Hawaii received a bid into a BCS game -- in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia. That opened up a WAC-tied spot in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

Boise State, the WAC runner-up, elected to play in the Hawaii Bowl against East Carolina rather than play essentially another home game at the Humanitarian Bowl.

Third-place Fresno State then was slotted by the WAC to the Humanitarian Bowl.

Nevada, the WAC's fourth bowl-eligible team, was sent to the New Mexico Bowl to play New Mexico.

"We had a pretty good feeling about Boise, as along as Hawaii got into a BCS game," Fresno State athletic director Thomas Boeh said. "But Boise (State) was still getting to drive the train, whether they'd stay home or go to Hawaii."