Gophers to face Washington State in Holiday Bowl

Minnesota offensive lineman Garrison Wright holds up quarterback Mitch Leidner in celebration against Northwestern, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Stacy Bengs/AP

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have accepted an invitation to the National Funding Holiday Bowl where they’ll face the Washington State Cougars of the Pac-12 in San Diego, Calif., Dec. 27.

It’s a first-time appearance in the bowl game for the Gophers and also the first Minnesota bowl game in the state of California since the 1961 Rose Bowl.

The Cougars finished the season 8-4 with a 7-2 conference mark. Minnesota trails the head-to-head series 2-3, but the programs have not met since 1988.

"I think it’s a great matchup in a great location" head coach Tracy Claeys told local media Sunday. 

The 8-4 Gophers are playing in their fifth straight bowl game and 18th overall.