For the first time in both schools’ history, No. 17 Utah will face No. 22 Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
The match-up was announced at Harbor Island on Sunday. This is the first time the Holiday Bowl has been played on New Year’s Eve.
The last time the Utes (9-4, Pacific 12) faced the Wildcats (8-5, Big Ten) was in 1981, where Utah blanked Northwestern 42-0.
Since 2014, the Holiday Bowl has matched teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences.
The bowl gets the second selection from the Pac-12 after the New Year’s Six bowls made their selections. The Alamo Bowl picked Washington State after it won the Pac-12 Championship over Utah.
Northwestern won the Big Ten West before losing to Ohio State in the conference championship game, 45-24. The Wildcats have made nine bowl appearances in the last 11 seasons and 15th overall.
This is the Utes’ 13th bowl appearance under coach Kyle Whittingham and 22nd bowl game overall.
Holiday Bowl, which has played annually since 1978, kicks off at 4 p.m.