Photo credit: youtube.com
By Jeremy Kahn
With the College Football Season turning into bowl season, there will be a great matchup between teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences, respectively.
This is the first playing of what is now called the Redbox Bowl, but it is 17th overall bowl game in the Bay Area and it will feature the Michigan State Spartans of the Big 10 Conference versus the Oregon Ducks of the Pac-12 Conference.
In the previous six meetings between the Spartans and Ducks, the series is tied at three wins apiece. This past August, the two perennial powerhouses of their respective conferences agreed to a home-and-home series that will take place in 2029 and 2030.
“The Redbox Bowl is thrilled to welcome two storied college football brands with shared history like Oregon and Michigan State to play in front of a primetime national audience at Levi’s Stadium,” said Ryan Oppelt, executive director of the Redbox Bowl. “The Ducks and Spartans have large alumni contingents in the Bay Area so we couldn’t ask for a better way to kick off an incredible week of post-season football in the Bay Area that will culminate with the CFP National Championship on January 7th.”
The Spartans won the last meeting between the teams, as they defeated the Ducks 31-28 at Spartan Stadium on September 12, 2015.
This will be the 28th bowl game appearance for the Spartans, and the 11th under current head coach Mark Dantonio, the most by any coach in school history. The Spartans set a school record by playing in nine consecutive bowl games from 2009-2017.
During the streak, the Spartans won a school record four consecutive bowl games, including a win over the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2011 Outback Bowl, the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl over the Texas Christian Horned Frogs, the 2014 Rose Bowl over the Stanford Cardinal and the 2015 Cotton Bowl over the Baylor Bears.
All-time, the Spartans are 12-15 entering the Redbox Bowl and 5-5 under Dantonio, including a win over the Washington State Cougars in the 2017 Holiday Bowl.
This is the first full season in Eugene for current Head Coach Mario Cristobal, but bowl games are nothing new for the Ducks, as this is the 13th bowl game for the Ducks in the past 14 seasons. Cristobal was the interim coach for the Ducks in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl after the firing of former Head Coach Mark Helfrich.
Overall, this is the 32nd appearance for the Ducks and 13-18 overall and this is the 12th appearance for the Ducks in bowl games played in the State of California.