Cal (7-5) has accepted a bid to play in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force (8-5) of the Mountain West Conference at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 29.
The contest will be televised live nationally by ESPN and kick off at 1 pm CT/11 am PT from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
The game is a rematch of the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl when Cal rallied from a 21-0 deficit for a 42-36 victory over Air Force the last time the teams met. Cal holds an all-time 6-2 advantage in its series with Air Force including the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl victory.
A bowl victory would give Cal its first eight-win season since the 2009 team was 8-5 with only 17 squads since the beginning of Cal football in 1882-83 winning either nine or 10 contests.
“We are excited to have been selected for the Armed Forces Bowl and even more excited to have an opportunity to win our eighth game this season,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “The Armed Forces Bowl will be a tremendous experience for our players, coaches and fans. We’re looking forward to both the bowl experience and the opportunity to continue to get better and put in the work to prepare ourselves for this game. Our players and coaches have worked hard to bring our football program to this point and it’s great that their work is being rewarded with this opportunity.”
“I’m thrilled for our student-athletes, coaches, fans and everyone associated with the Cal football program,” Director of Athletics Mike Williams added. “Our student-athletes and coaching staff are a resilient group, and I’m extremely proud of all the work they have all put in both on and off the field to accomplish this goal. We’re honored to play in the Armed Forces Bowl and it is going to be a tremendous experience for everyone involved. Our student-athletes have earned this and it is a great way for our seniors to finish their careers at Cal.”
Cal started the 2015 season with a 5-0 record for its best start since 2007 and was ranked nationally for the first time since 2009 (AP Top 25) and 2010 (Coaches Poll). The Bears eventually moved as high as No. 19 (Amway Coaches Poll) and No. 20 (AP Top 25) in the Week 7 national rankings for their highest spot in six seasons. Cal also finished the campaign strong with two wins over its final three games coming against Oregon State and Arizona State, including a thrilling 48-46 victory over the Sun Devils in its 2015 regular-season finale when Cal rallied from a 24-3 second-quarter deficit to post its biggest comeback win since also coming from 21 points behind to defeat Air Force in the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl. Matt Anderson kicked a 26-yard game-winning field goal with no time remaining in the victory over the Sun Devils while Jared Goff threw for a single-game school record 542 yards and five touchdowns.
Air Force had its best 2015 run late in the regular-season with a five-game win streak before dropping its final two contests in its regular-season finale at New Mexico and the Mountain West Conference Championship Game at San Diego State.
The 2015 Armed Forces Bowl will be an intriguing matchup of a Cal team that is ranked fifth nationally in passing offense (368.8 ypg) against an Air Force squad that is third in the country in rushing (321.8 ypg).
Cal has an all-time bowl record of 10-10-1 dating back to its first bowl game, a 28-0 victory over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1921.