Dennis Pitta admits Brigham Young was "a little flat" in last year's bowl appearance in Las Vegas, a 31-21 loss to Arizona.
But the Cougars senior tight end insists tonight's game will be a different story.
No. 15 BYU (10-2) faces 16th-ranked Oregon State (8-4) in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at 5 p.m. before a sellout crowd at Sam Boyd Stadium.
"If you can't get excited for a game like that," Pitta said, "then you probably shouldn't be playing this game."
The bowl features two ranked teams for the first time in its 18-year history and might be the best matchup outside of the Bowl Championship Series games.
CBSSports.com ranks Las Vegas as the third-best bowl, behind only the national championship at No. 1 and the Fiesta Bowl.
Tonight's game has the trappings of an offensive showcase.
Cougars quarterback Max Hall has completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 3,368 yards and 30 touchdowns. Oregon State's Sean Canfield has passed for 3,103 yards and 21 TDs with 70 percent completion rate.
Canfield said he isn't interested in engaging in a passing duel with Hall.
"I just want to win the football game," the Beavers' senior quarterback said. "I think there's nothing better than sharing a win with a bunch of teammates."
Both quarterbacks are surrounded by plenty of talent.
Hall's supporting cast includes tailback Harvey Unga (1,016 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Pitta (57 receptions, 784 yards, seven touchdowns).
Canfield has the Rodgers brothers. Jacquizz Rodgers, one of the country's top tailbacks, has rushed for 1,377 yards and 20 touchdowns. Wide receiver James Rodgers has 87 catches for 1,004 yards and nine touchdowns.
Besides the potential wow factor, tonight's game carries important implications for both programs.
An Oregon State victory over the Cougars would ensure the Beavers their fourth consecutive Top 25 finish, ex- tending a school record.
"I like that for the identity of this group," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "In order to have that, we have to win. For the identity and the exclamation point on this 2009 team, I think it's huge."
A BYU victory could give the Cougars -- making their fifth consecutive appearance in this game -- their first top-10 finish since 1996, when they wound up No. 5.
"If that does happen, you're talking about momentum for the program and continued respect and continued growth and progress," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I think that's something that every program would like."
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914.