The Las Vegas Bowl is growing up.
The postseason college football game that had its humble origin in Fresno, California, as the California Raisin Bowl is moving again after 28 seasons.
This time, it will only be across town.
Beginning in 2020, the Las Vegas Bowl will be played at the 65,000-seat, $2 billion Allegiant Stadium on the strip. A new affiliation matching a Pac-12 team against one from the Big Ten or Southeastern Conference is expected to help fill a lot of those additional seats.
As the Las Vegas Bowl prepares for a big Sam Boyd Stadium sendoff on Saturday matching Boise State of the Mountain West Conference against Washington of the Pac-12, here’s a look at some of the numbers (and names) that made the little stadium on the edge of town shake and shimmy for nearly three decades:
1. Overtime games: Toledo defeated UNR 40-37 in 1995 in the first NCAA FBS game eligible to be decided by overtime.
2. Jersey number: Worn by New Mexico kicker Katie Hnida, the first female to play in an NCAA FBS football game. Her PAT attempt was blocked by UCLA on Christmas Day 2002.
3: Number of scoring plays 98 yards or longer in 2011 (100-yard kickoff return by Boise State’s Doug Martin, 98-yard kickoff return by Arizona State’s Rashad Ross, 100-yard interception return by Boise State’s Jamar Taylor.)
4: Victories by Boise State. The Broncos are 4-0 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
4.7: TV rating generated by Utah’s 10-6 victory over Southern California on Christmas Day 2001.
5: Touchdowns scored by Las Vegas resident Steven Jackson against New Mexico in 2003.
6: Boise State’s ranking in the final 2001 coach’s poll, the highest by a Las Vegas Bowl participant.
7: Las Vegas Bowls broadcast by Las Vegas resident Brent Musburger for ABC.
8: Sellouts in 27 years.
9: Official names by which the Las Vegas Bowl has been known. (Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl presented by Reno Air, EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl, Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl, Pioneer Purevision Las Vegas Bowl, Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl.
14: Passes caught by UNR’s Alex Van Dyke against Toledo in 1995.
20: Tackles by Southern California’s Troy Polamalu against Utah in 2001.
35: Points scored by Utah in the first quarter against Brigham Young in 2015. The Utes were shut out the rest of the way but hung on for a 35-28 victory.
35-34: Final score of the inaugural Las Vegas Bowl. The Los Angeles Times voted Bowling Green’s dramatic victory over UNR the most exciting bowl game of 1992.
37: Unanswered points by Brigham Young against Oregon State in 2009.
41: Oregon State’s record margin of victory over New Mexico in 2003.
$45: Least-expensive ticket for the 2019 Las Vegas Bowl.
52: Longest field goal, by UCLA’s Kai Forbath in 2007.
54: Passing attempts by Fresno State’s Derek Carr against Southern California in 2013.
56: Most points scored, by Boise State in 2011.
78: Longest touchdown pass, from Oregon’s Jason Mass to Pat Johnson against Air Force in 1997.
80: Combined points by Boise State (56) and Arizona State (24) in 2011.
84: Longest touchdown run, by Boise State’s Doug Martin against Utah in 2010.
100: Distance of interception returns for touchdowns by Boise State’s Jamar Taylor against Arizona State in 2011 and Oregon’s Tyree Robinson against Boise State in 2017.
115: Rushing yards by Canyon Springs High’s Donnel Pumphrey in San Diego State’s victory over Houston in 2016. The Las Vegan set the NCAA FBS career rushing yards record with a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter.
194: Rushing yards by California’s Marshawn Lynch against Brigham Young in 2005, before there was Beast Mode.
241: Receiving yards by Arizona State’s Gerrell Robinson against Boise State in 2011.
244: Rushing yards by Utah’s Mike Anderson against Fresno State in 1999.
399: Offensive yards by Brigham Young’s John Beck against California in 2005.
401: Offensive yards by Brigham Young’s John Beck against Oregon in 2006.
589: UNLV’s total yards against Central Michigan in 1994.
.632: Mountain West Conference’s winning percentage (12-7 record)
850: Pairs of shoes and socks presented annually to disadvantaged children by the Las Vegas Bowl’s Goodie Two Shoes Foundation.
10,118: Lowest attendance, UNR vs. Ball State, 1996.
38,500: Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas Bowl capacity under present day setup.
44,615: Highest attendance, Brigham Young vs. Oregon, 2006.
$2,900,000: Payout per team in 2019.
LV Bowl Pick 6
Six memorable Las Vegas Bowls, listed in chronological order:
— 1992: Bowling Green 35, UNR 34. Wolf Pack rallies from 28-3 halftime deficit, takes lead in fourth quarter, loses on 3-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds remaining in game voted most exciting of bowl season by Los Angeles Times.
— 1995: Toledo 40, UNR 37: The first NCAA major college game eligible to be decided in overtime is decided in overtime. Rockets’ Waysean Tait rushes for 185 yards and scores his fourth touchdown in extra session.
— 2000: UNLV 31, Arkansas 14: UNLV wins against Southeastern Conference opponent in front of raucous home crowd. Quarterback Jason Thomas, a transfer from Southern California, shines in one of Rebels’ biggest wins ever.
— 2005: California 35, Brigham Young 28: Buoyed by future NFL stars Marshawn Lynch and Desean Jackson, Golden Bears outlast Cougars in front of first sellout crowd in Las Vegas Bowl history.
— 2007: Brigham Young 17, UCLA 16: Cougars prevail by blocking field goal on game’s final play. Defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna gets a paw on the ball as time expires in one of the first games televised in high definition.
— 2015: Utah 35, Brigham Young 28: The Holy War moves to Las Vegas. Utes score 35 points in first quarter via four Cougars turnovers before hanging on for win.
Packing ’em in
The top football crowds in Sam Boyd Stadium history:
1. 44,615: 2006 Las Vegas Bowl (Brigham Young vs. Oregon)#
2. 42,213: 2015 Las Vegas Bowl (Brigham Young vs. Utah)
3. 42,178: 2013 Las Vegas Bowl (Fresno State vs. Southern California)
4. 42,075: 2002 Wisconsin at UNLV*
5. 41,923: 2010 Las Vegas Bowl (Boise State vs. Utah)
6. 41,238: 1996 WAC Championship (Brigham Young vs. Wyoming)*
7. 40,712: 2007 Las Vegas Bowl (Brigham Young vs. UCLA)*
8. 40,091: 1996 Wisconsin at UNLV*
9. 40,053: 2005 Las Vegas Bowl (California vs. Brigham Young)
10. 40,047: 2008 Las Vegas Bowl (Arizona vs. Brigham Young)
*Included installation of north end zone bleachers for game
#State record for team sporting event