The selection committee has decided that the Houston Cougars (9-3, 5-3) from the American Athletic Conference will face the back-to-back Mountain West Champion San Diego State Aztecs (10-3, 6-2) in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The Aztecs have great momentum coming into this matchup following their victory against Wyoming, 27-24, in the Mountain West Championship Game. Rashaad Penny and Donnel Pumprhey each combined for more than 100 rushing yards and three touchdowns to give the Aztecs the title.
Coming into this bowl game, Pumphrey needs 108 rushing yards to surpass Ron Dayne and become the all-time leader in career rushing yards. He currently averages 155 yards/game and has only failed to rush for at least 100 yards in three games this season.
Mountain West champion @Aztec_Football will take on Houston from the AAC in the 25th annual @LasVegasBowl on Dec. 17! #mwfb pic.twitter.com/xgYxhUMKuW— Mountain West (@MountainWest) December 4, 2016
Houston is coming off a tough 48-44 loss to the Memphis Tigers, which resulted in the Cougars falling out of the Top 25 once again. Houston has had a roller coaster season to say the least. They have defeated No. 3 Oklahoma during Week 1 and No. 5 Louisville two weeks ago at home. However, the Cougars lost three games during conference play and have been inconsistent down the stretch. Houston has relied on senior QB Greg Ward Jr., who has thrown for an incredible 3,328 yards, 22 touchdowns, and run for 518 yards and nine rushing touchdowns.
The Cougars overall bowl record is (11-12-1), and they defeated the Florida State Seminoles 38-24 last year in the Peach Bowl. Meanwhile, the Aztecs are 7-7 all time in bowl games and they defeated Cincinnati 42-7 last year in the Hawaii Bowl.
Date and time: Dec. 17, 12:30 P.M. PT/3:30 P.M. ET
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Stadium: Sam Boyd Stadium