Fresno State football is headed to late night television.
As part of its selection to the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl by virtue of beating Boise State to win the Mountain West, the Bulldogs will make an appearance on Kimmel’s show next week.
Fresno State’s debut on the Jimmy Kimmel show will come in advance of its matchup against Washington State on Dec. 17 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
“One of the things we strive to do is really embrace the entertainment aspect of being here in Los Angeles,” said Jason Gannon, the executive director of the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.
“We have an opportunity for the teams to go to the Jimmy Kimmel show and be a part of the entertainment component, and then work in partnership with Universal Studios. Each team will have a full week of schedules going to events we think are unique to Los Angeles.”
Fresno State Head Coach Jeff Tedford acknowledged in a press call Sunday that while the goal and focus is to win, there will be some room for celebration during the trip down south.
The nature of it being a bowl game allows the team to relax slightly and not be buttoned up and strictly business to finish out a successful year.
“I think the reward for a team to play well and have the opportunity to play in a bowl game – I think there does have to be some fun involved in it. But the ultimate goal is to win,” Tedford said.
“There’s a lot of reasons to do that. We have a lot of pride in our team. Anytime we take the field we want to compete and do our best. We’re going for our 10th win of the season, so there’s a lot of things to play for. Just the pride of being able to have an opportunity to play again and as the last time that this team, the 2022 Bulldogs, will play together. So we’ll go in it taking a lot of pride in doing our best to be successful in the game.”
It will be the second opportunity for Fresno State this season to play in a new state-of-the-art NFL Stadium, following a trip to Las Vegas last month to beat UNLV in Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders.
SoFi Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, seats over 70,000 and hosted Super Bowl LVI in February. The Stadium opened in 2020.
The Jimmy Kimmel Los Angeles Bowl also gives the Red Wave an easy opportunity to see the Bulldogs play in a bowl game without having to travel out of state as in years past.
Tedford expects many Fresno State fans to make the drive down Highway 99 to attend the game.
“To be in California, to be in LA – a lot of our kids are from LA – I believe that the Red Wave will travel really well there,” Tedford said.
“Times where we’ve played USC or UCLA down there, we’ve had a great contingent, a great following. I know our fans here are excited for it. I’ve had a lot of text messages today about people excited to attend the game. It’s a great honor to be in any bowl game, especially this one representing our conference.”
Washington State finished fifth in the Pac-12 at 7-5, but two of those losses came against top 15 teams Oregon and Utah by a combined seven points.
Fresno State last played a Pac-12 team in a bowl game in 2018, when the ‘Dogs beat Arizona State 31-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl.