Hawaii football: BYU accepts SoFi Hawaii Bowl invitation

Hawaii running back Ryan Tuiasoa cut between Brigham Young linebacker Fred Warner (4) and defensive back Michael Shelton (18) at Aloha Stadium on Nov. 25, 2017. BYU won that game 30-20. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Jamm Aquino.

One-half of a desirable Christmas Eve matchup is set.

Brigham Young, Hawaii’s longtime football rival, accepted on Saturday an invitation to play in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, UH and the Hawaii Bowl announced.

“On behalf of ESPN Events and the SoFi Hawaiʻi Bowl Executive Committee, we are very excited to offer BYU their first opportunity to play in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl,” Daryl Garvin, Hawaii Bowl executive director, said in a release. “BYU has played some memorable games in Aloha Stadium and we look forward to welcoming the Cougars and their fans to Honolulu.”

Kalani Sitake’s Division I Independent Cougars (6-4) gained bowl eligibility today with a 42-10 win over Idaho State. Their other wins have been against Tennessee, USC, Boise State, Utah State and Liberty. Their losses have come against Utah, Washington, Toledo and South Florida.

BYU still has games at Massachusetts and at San Diego State to conclude its regular season.

“We are looking forward to playing in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl,” Sitake said in the release. “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. Hawaii 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.”

The Cougars have only appeared in the islands for a bowl game one time — the 1992 Aloha Bowl against Kansas on Christmas Day.

UH (6-4) needs one more win to attain bowl eligibility with its 13-game regular season. A win at UNLV on Saturday would clinch a bowl berth.

UPDATE: UH defeated UNLV 21-7 on Saturday, earning bowl eligibility with its 7-4 record. However, the Rainbow Warriors have not announced that they’ve accepted a Hawaii Bowl bid as they are still in the running for a Mountain West championship and a possible appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl.

UH has not defeated BYU since 2001. The Cougars have won five straight in the series, including a 49-23 win in Provo, Utah, last year.


  1. CUQ November 16, 2019 7:33 pm

    I remember the BYU rivalry but it does not bring the same passion as it did years ago. A team from a major conference mo betta.

  2. sports for fun November 16, 2019 8:44 pm

    Sorry, but it’s a one sided rivalry. I don’t think Hawaii has beaten BYU enough to call it a rivalry. “Frustration” may be a better word.

  3. Jason November 17, 2019 9:48 am

    I would love to see Hawaii play BYU. I think Hawaii is a great team. Go Cougs!

  4. H-Man November 18, 2019 5:02 am

    After reading that BYU has beaten the likes of Boise St, I don’t feel Hawaii will be a good opponent against The Cougars.

  5. SkoBoze November 18, 2019 7:57 am

    UH, ESPN, and the Hawaii Bowl will all want us to stay home and play BYU.
    The last 2 Hawaii Bowls that UH was in averaged 27K and adding local BYU fans will probably bump that up to about 31K, largest attendance since 2011.

  6. BY Who?? November 18, 2019 10:04 am

    Sports, it is a rivalry. The UH-BYU thing goes beyond football. UH has had success against them lately in other sports.

  7. Al Price November 25, 2019 1:10 pm

    High School All-American Bowl participant, Kicker Matt Shipley from Texas, commits to the Rainbow Warriors for 2020.

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