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July 22, 2014

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MAACO Bowl Las Vegas:

Sarkisian recalls memorable game at Sam Boyd during college days at BYU

University of Washington coach already has good feeling about Sam Boyd Stadium heading into Dec. 22 bowl game against Boise State

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University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian answers questions during The Maaco Bowl Las Vegas press conference at The Sporting House inside the New York, New York on December 6, 2012. Boise State will play Washington at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on December 22.

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas media conference

The Maaco Bowl Las Vegas team announcement and media conference held at The Sporting House inside the New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 6, 2012. Boise State will play Washington at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on December 22.  (Maaco Bowl Las Vegas) Launch slideshow »

When the University of Washington football team takes the field at Sam Boyd Stadium Dec. 22 for the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas against Boise State, Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian will already have some positive karma on his side.

When Sarkisian quarterbacked BYU in 1996, the Cougars beat Wyoming 28-25 in overtime of the Western Athletic Conference championship game at Sam Boyd.

“Sam Boyd Stadium holds a special place in my heart and we are excited to play another great game here,” Sarkisian told reporters Thursday during a press conference inside the Sporting House at New York-New York.

Washington (7-4) is looking to erase the disappointment of losing 31-28 to Washington State in the annual Apple Cup rivalry game. They are more than capable, having beat Pacific-12 Conference champion Stanford earlier in the season.

This is Washington’s third straight bowl game and first appearance in the Las Vegas game.

“This is an awesome opportunity for us. I know our kids are fired up, our fans are fired up,” Sarkisian said.

Boise State is making its third straight appearance in the local bowl game, easily handling Arizona State last year by 32 points and beating Utah, 26-3, in 2010. The No. 20-ranked Broncos will be playing at Sam Boyd for the fourth time in 25 months, having also played against UNLV last year.

Boise State (10-2) was the co-Mountain West Conference champions, finishing No. 19 in the final BCS rankings and three spots out of playing in a lucrative BCS game. Instead, they are back in Las Vegas.

“I think we might be coming here too much when I continue to recognize the showgirls,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen jokingly said. He later added: “We have had great experiences the last couple years just in terms of how we have been treated. It is a nice location for our fans. We are really counting on Bronco Nation showing up and giving our team a lot of support.”

This is the 21st installment of the bowl game. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.

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