Sports

Stanford football gets a bowl game close to home

 

Stanford's consolation prize for a winning football season is the opportunity to play a bowl game close to home against an opponent the Cardinal has never played.

The Cardinal (7-5) meets Maryland (7-5) in the Foster Farms Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. in Levi's Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPN.

"We have alumni all over the world but we have a huge concentration in Silicon Valley, in San Francisco and Los Angeles," Stanford coach David Shaw said on a conference call Sunday. "When we announced the bowl game at the banquet (earlier Sunday) there was a huge cheer not just from players but from the families who can spend a week in San Francisco for something beside graduations."

Stanford is making its sixth consecutive appearance in a bowl game, though it's the first time since the 2009 Sun Bowl the Cardinal will miss out on a major BCS bowl.

The Foster Farms Bowl is the latest name change of the San Francisco Bowl, which originated at AT&T Park. Maryland makes it second appearance, and its first since playing Oregon State in the 2007 Emerald Bowl.

Stanford makes its first appearance in the bowl, and its 26th bowl game appearance overall. The Cardinal is 2-5 over its last seven bowl appearances.

"I love the idea of playing close to home," Shaw said. "As for the status of the bow, I really didn't care. Give us a bowl game so we can go play."

Shaw, who spent four years with the Baltimore Ravens, knows the school well but has "a broad, general knowledge" of the football team.

"There's a lot of excitement," Shaw said. "We can't wait to get started."

Stanford will practice in four-day segments, with time off for the Christmas holidays. Senior wide receiver Ty Montgomery is questionable, with a decision on whether he plays or not to be decided in the days preceding the game.

"He is doing everything he can to get back," Shaw said. "He wants to put on the Stanford uniform one more time an run back kicks."

Montgomery injured his shoulder early in Stanford's victory over California and missed the Cardinal's win over UCLA.

Maryland is making its sixth bowl appearance in the last nine seasons. The are 11-12-2 all-time in bowl games and have won five of its past seven.

— Rick Eymer/Palo Alto Online Sports

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