The Las Vegas Bowl has a recent history of landing key teams, using appearances by Brigham Young and Boise State to draw large crowds to Sam Boyd Stadium.
Then when the game invited Southern California and No. 21 Fresno State for this year’s game, the matchup looked like another big seller.
And it was, with the bowl announcing Wednesday it had sold out Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. game. This is the bowl’s seventh sellout in nine years but first since 2010. A crowd of approximately 36,800 will be on hand.
“We’re pretty happy,” bowl executive director Dan Hanneke said. “It’s just nice to announce a midweek sellout.”
Each school was allotted 11,000 tickets, and each still is selling tickets. Any tickets not sold through USC or Fresno State will be given to youth groups and charities.
“I wouldn’t take tickets sold to the schools and resell them,” Hanneke said.
Fans also can buy tickets from secondary markets, such as StubHub.
■ TOO MUCH ALOHA — Fresno State treated last year’s trip to the Hawaii Bowl like most visitors to Honolulu, and the Bulldogs clearly had anything but work on their minds when Southern Methodist routed them 43-10.
“We were surfing, we were hanging out and doing those things, and we went out and got blown out,” Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr said. “So this year we’re not going to do those things. We’re here to win a football game, and we’ve got a lot of time to go out and do whatever guys want to do.
“So this to us is No. 1, and we want to beat USC. We believe that we can, or else we wouldn’t be here.”
Now that the Bulldogs are in another city known for its share of fun, Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter has imposed a midnight curfew on his team.
“There are some distractions here,” DeRuyter said. “I remind our guys all the time that nothing good happens after midnight, so we don’t need to be out. In a town like this, if you want to make bad decisions, there are certainly some opportunities to. So we’ll try to keep a little tighter rein.
“Our guys weren’t happy with the way we played last year. I think we’ve got a little more mature and more focused team this year. I think we were a little satisfied just winning the conference last year. The bowl game was almost anticlimactic to some of the guys.”
■ COMING HOME — Two USC players with Las Vegas ties have made key contributions — junior tight end Xavier Grimble and senior cornerback Torin Harris.
Grimble went to Bishop Gorman High School, where the Trojans are practicing this week. He is third on the team in receiving with 23 catches for 248 yards and two touchdowns, earning All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention.
Harris, a Palo Verde product, has made 30 tackles, broken up seven passes and intercepted one.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.