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BYU Football To Face Hawaii Rainbow Warriors In SoFi Hawaii Bowl

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Aleva Hifo (15) drags two would be tacklers Hawaii Warriors linebacker Penei Pavihi (33) and Hawaii Warriors defensive back Ikem Okeke (22) as BYU and Hawaii play at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. BYU won 49-23. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football’s Christmas trip to the islands will be played against the hometown Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl.

All signs pointed to BYU facing Hawaii once Boise State won the Mountain West Conference championship game over the Warriors. It became official on Sunday amidst all the other bowl announcements.

The Hawaii Bowl will be played on Tuesday, December 24th (Christmas Eve) at 6 p.m. (MT) and will be televised nationally on ESPN. BYU has known they would be going to Honolulu this season for the past three years, but it became official last month after the Cougars secured their sixth victory.

“We are excited to be playing in the SoFi Hawai’i Bowl,” said BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe. “I’m really happy for our football team and impressed with how hard they worked to have this opportunity. BYU has a long history and tradition of playing football in Hawai’i and we are looking forward to playing in Aloha Stadium once again.”

BYU enters the Hawaii Bowl with a 7-5 record overall. The Cougars lost to San Diego State in the regular-season finale by a score of 13-3. Hawaii comes into the Hawaii Bowl with a 9-5 record and is set to play in their 15th game this season, the ninth at Aloha Stadium.

This appearance in the Hawaii Bowl will mark BYU’s 23rd game played on the islands dating back to 1930. There’s a long and storied history between the two programs, and it also is close to home for many at BYU. BYU head coach Kalani Sitake considers Hawaii home as he grew up there as a child in nearby Laie.

“We are looking forward to playing in the SoFi Hawai’i Bowl,” said Sitake. “I’m really proud of our players and pleased they have earned this opportunity to continue to improve as a program and have one more game together with our seniors. Hawai’i is a wonderful place and dear to my heart. I’m excited to take our team to the Islands to experience the warmth of the culture and the Aloha Spirit.”

BYU is 23-8 all-time against the Rainbow Warriors. The last meeting took place last season in Provo where BYU defeated the Warriors 49-23 in Zach Wilson’s first career start at quarterback.

This is BYU’s 37th bowl appearance all-time. In the previous 36 games, the Cougars have posted a 15-20-1 record. Under Sitake, BYU is 2-0 in bowl games with the last appearance taking place last season where the Cougars defeated the Western Michigan Broncos in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

The last time BYU played in a bowl game in Hawaii was in 1992 against the Kansas Jayhawks on Christmas Day in the Aloha Bowl.

SoFi Hawaii Bowl

BYU vs. Hawaii

Kickoff: 6 p.m. (MT) / 3 p.m. (HT)

TV: ESPN

Radio: KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM, 1160 AM

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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