Most fans expected the Beavers to be invited to the Holiday Bowl, but the BCS chose not to take Arizona State forcing the Holiday Bowl to take the Pac-10's No. 2 team.
(8-4) vs Terrapins (6-6)
The conference's No. 3 team usually ends up in the Sun Bowl, but OSU traveled to El Paso last year as the Sun Bowl officials opted to take Oregon instead. Officially the Emerald Bowl is for the conference's fourth place team, which had some in Beaver Nation, including athletic director Bob DeCarolis, angry, but coach Mike Riley says the Emerald Bowl is a perfect fit for his team.
“We are definitely third place and we definitely did beat Oregon," said Mike Riley who is 3-0 in bowl games as head coach at Oregon State. "We are looking forward to playing Maryland who is a very good opponent.
"This is a great match-up with a good team. I don’t even know who the match-up would be in the Sun Bowl, but it won’t be any better than Maryland. We will have a great game in store for us.”
While the Terrapins may be a good team, they are definitely a step down from the team OSU would have faced in the Holiday or Sun Bowl. Maryland is a 6-6 team who finished tied for eighth in the Atlantic Coast Conference while the Ducks will be going against No. 21 South Florida (9-3) and the Sun Devils against No. 19 Texas (9-3).
Despite not facing an opponent from the Big 12 or Big East, there are several benefits to going to a bowl game in San Francisco. The Bay area is a hot bed for recruiting, many of the players on the roster grew up in the area and it is a new experience with an opponent from a conference OSU rarely faces. And the university does not miss out on any money as the Pac-10 shares its bowl revenue with all 10 institutions.
“The whole team is just happy to be bowlin’," middle linebacker Alan Darlin said. "We started off the season kind of rocky. We’re just happy to be in the place we are. and playing another game."
"We’ve got a lot of guys from the Bay Area and we get a chance to go home. No matter where we’re going to be at, we’re going to play a great team. We’re happy to be there. I love San Francisco. It’s a great city. It’s a new opportunity for us and we’re ready to accept the challenge.”
The meeting between Maryland and Oregon State will be a first and the only bowl game in the country to feature a Pac-10/ACC matchup. In fact, this is the first meeting with a team from the ACC since the 1942 Rose Bowl when the Beavers defeated the Duke Blue Devils 20-16.
“I don’t think that we’re going to treat this game any differently than we do Oregon or USC," center Kyle DeVan said. "Our coaches are going to write out a game plan, practice it all week and we will come out on game day and execute.
We are going to do what we do, we won’t have to change our offense at all, the great thing about bowls is they bring together different conferences. So there probably won’t be the same defense that we’ve faced in the Pac-10 its going to be a great challenge for our team.”
This is the fourth time in five years that Oregon State has gone bowling while Maryland has advanced to postseason play in five of the last seven seasons.
The sixth annual Emerald Bowl kickoffs at 5:30 p.m. PST Friday, Dec. 28. on ESPN.
- Beavers slip down to Emerald Bowl (Gazette Times)
- No Holiday for Beavers; the Sun goes down the list (Oregonian)
- Beavers Accept Emerald Bowl Invitation (OSUBeavers.com)
- Maryland to Face Oregon State In Emerald Bowl (UMTerps.com)
- Maryland football to play Oregon State in Emerald Bowl (Carroll County Times)
- Terps headed to Emerald Bowl (Baltimore Sun)