Iowa State, Boise State prepared to face off

Zac Reicks

The Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho, will be Iowa State’s seventh bowl appearance. And while it may not be in the most desirable location, the Cyclones won’t be taking it for granted.

“There are a lot of teams that don’t get to make it, so right now we’re fortunate that we are going to a bowl game,” JaMaine Billups said. “We’re happy for the chance.”

The chance Iowa State has is to enrich their bowl history by winning their second bowl game ever. The only other Cyclone win came in the 2000 Bowl in Phoenix. Iowa State defeated Pittsburgh 37-29 in the first ISU bowl game in 22 years.

Last year they were defeated by Alabama, 14-13, in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

“We are happy to go to Boise and a lot of guys are looking forward to getting that second bowl win,” kicker Adam Benike said.

Boise State, on the other hand, will only be playing in the third bowl game in their school history.

The Broncos won the first bowl game they played in 1999, defeating Louisville 34-31. Boise State took the party to Boise’s very own Humanitarian Bowl and gave the nation one of the most exciting games that season with 10 lead changes and 65 total points. They finished 10-3 that year and won the Big West crown with a 5-1 record.

The following 2000 campaign found the Broncos being invited once more to play in the Humanitarian Bowl against Texas—El Paso.

Boise State added to their brief bowl history with a 38-23 win and their second bowl victory in two tries.

All that leads to this year’s 11-1 team that is going back for a third Humanitarian Bowl appearance. Boise State will become the first ranked team to play in the Humanitarian Bowl after accepting an invitation.

While some players would like the chance to get out of the state and play other teams, head coach Dan Hawkins has them focused on the opportunity they do have.

“They’re mature enough to understand the dynamics of things,” Hawkins said. “There’s certainly a side where they want to get out of town. But there’s fans here, and they understand that.”

Fans will be an issue for Iowa State, as not many are enthused about making the trip to a colder part of the country. But with Iowa State’s bowl trips not a very frequent occurrence, the fans would be wise to embrace the players’ attitude and go enjoy themselves.

“I heard it’s going to be pretty fun,” Billups said. “We get to play in the cold weather and the hospitality is great up there.”

Iowa State has also played in the 1971 Sun Bowl, the 1972 Liberty Bowl, the 1977 Peach Bowl, the 1978 Hall of Fame Bowl and the bowls mentioned above.

The Cyclones’ total record is 1-5 with two of the losses coming by one-point margins.