The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs announced Wednesday that the school has accepted a bid to the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Hawaii Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 9:30 central time on ESPN. This is a departure from its usual spot on Christmas Eve.
The Bulldogs will be facing the hosting Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, an old rival from La Tech’s days in the WAC. Hawaii leads the series 8-2, and the Bulldogs have never won in Honolulu.
This marks the fifth straight season Louisiana Tech has reached a bowl game, something Tech had never done before. Tech has also won each of the previous four bowls. Although the previous four years had seen Tech stay local with games in DFW and New Orleans, they have traveled for a bowl game before. The Bulldogs played in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego in 2011 and the Humanitarian Bowl in Idaho in 2001. Both were Tech losses.
Louisiana Tech’s season had a promising start with a spirited shot at LSU, which was followed by a big win at North Texas the next week. A loss to UAB kept Tech from the division title race, but the Bulldogs fell short in the final two weeks of the regular season. A win in the Hawaii Bowl would see Tech finish with an 8-5 record, but a loss would see the Bulldogs match last season’s disappointing 7-6 finish.
Hawaii also had a promising start to 2018. The Rainbow Warriors started 3-0, and at one point sat at 6-1. But after limping to wins five and six against San Jose State and Wyoming, the Bows would lose the next four, all by multiple scores. They finished on a two-game win streak by defeating UNLV and San Diego State, the latter in overtime. Thanks in part to a 13-game schedule, the Warriors enter this game with the Bulldogs at 8-5.
Louisiana Tech and Hawaii first played in 2000, with the Bows winning 27-10 in Honolulu. Tech would join Hawaii in the WAC a year later. They did not play in 2001 or 2002, but played every year after that until Hawaii left the WAC prior to the 2012 season. Tech’s loss to Hawaii in 2011 was its only conference loss en route to a WAC championship. The 2009 meeting in Ruston would be the debut of Tech’s annual “Red Out” game. Tech won that game 27-6.
This also marks the first time Tech has played a former WAC foe since leaving the conference, not counting C-USA schools that were previously in the WAC. It is also Tech’s first meeting with a Mountain West team since beating UNLV in 2012.
Follow Underdog Dynasty for a more detailed game preview as the date approaches.