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2016 Holiday Bowl, Washington State vs. Minnesota: Date, time, location and everything to know

The Big Ten and Pac-12 meet in San Diego for the annual bowl game.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl - Baylor v UCLA Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images

Also, head over here for the fully updated bowl season calendar as it fills in, from the New Orleans Bowl through the Rose Bowl. We’ll also add picks, scores, and more to that calendar over time.

The Holiday Bowl has a long history of fun games, and hopefully this year will be no different. Now known fully as the National Funding Holiday Bowl, it takes the stage in prime time on Tuesday night. This year, it features Washington State from the Pac-12 and Minnesota from the Big Ten.

The Holiday Bowl has been around since 1978, and has traditionally been a matchup between Pac-12 and Big 12 teams. It’s undergone something of a makeover in recent years, though, and now the Big Ten is tied in with the game along with the Pac-12. Last year’s game featured two tradition-rich programs in Wisconsin and USC, and saw the Badgers cap off their season with their first-ever win over the Trojans.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s game:

Date and time: Dec. 27, 7 p.m.

TV channel: ESPN

Location: San Diego

Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium

Last year's score: Wisconsin 23, USC 21

Last year's attendance: 48,329

Teams with the most all-time appearances: BYU, 11

Teams with the most all-time wins: BYU, 4

Washington State (8-4, 7-2 in Pac-12)

WSU had a chance to mount a run to the Rose Bowl, but those dreams went up in smoke when Washington destroyed the Cougars in the Apple Cup on Black Friday. That gave UW the Pac-12 North, while what had become an excellent season for the Cougs fell just a bit short. But they’ve still got another game to play, and they’ll be dangerous in it.

Washington State’s defense has some talent but has proven its vulnerability. (If it hadn’t before, Washington sure laid it bare.) The big thing to know about this team is its application of Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. The Cougars throw a ton, and quarterback Luke Falk is one of the most prolific passers in the country. He works brilliantly with receiver Gabe Marks, and they’ve put up some historic numbers over the last few years they’ve spent together. The team also has three running backs -- Jamal Morrow, James Williams, and Gerard Wicks -- who have all done well in shouldering the running load together when WSU doesn’t throw.

This is a fun team. It’s a deeply flawed team, especially on defense, but it’s not exactly a team you’ll be stoked about playing against. It’s dangerous.

Minnesota (8-4, 5-4 in Big Ten)

Tracy Claeys was named the Gophers’ head coach after former head man Jerry Kill resigned from the position due to health reasons. Claey’s first full season as Minnesota’s head coach has been a successful one. After getting off to a 3-0 start, the Gophers suffered back-to-back losses to Penn State and Iowa. However, four straight wins put them back in the Big Ten West title discussion — until a 24-17 loss to Nebraska during Week 11. The Gophers beat Northwestern yet lost to Wisconsin to finish the season 8-4.

Defensively, the Gophers have been solid under Claeys, who served as Kill’s defensive coordinator prior to his resignation. The unit ranks inside the top 30 in the country in both overall defense and points allowed per game. Linebacker Jonathan Celestin leads the unit with more than 70 total tackles, along with seven for loss. On offense, running back Rodney Smith has carried for more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Given that this is Claeys’ first season as Minnesota's head coach, it went as smoothly as you would want — staying competitive inside the division, making strides on defense and making a bowl at the end of the season.