GLENDALE, Ariz. — University of Phoenix Stadium might be the most luxurious, state-of-the-art football facility in the nation, but Viliami Tuivai is just as happy with the historic field at his alma mater.
"Ever heard of a little place called Toomey Field?" said Tuivai, a UC Davis alum and Boise State's linebackers coach.
Two hours before the biggest game in school history — Monday's Fiesta Bowl — Tuivai and head coach Chris Petersen kept things light with a chat about UC Davis, the Northern California school where both played football, and its 7,000-seat stadium.
Monday night, more than 73,000 Fiesta Bowl fans packed University of Phoenix Stadium, which opened to ravereviews this fall.
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Toomey Field, which opened in 1949, hosted its last game in November. UC Davis defeated San Diego 37-27 to secure its 37th consecutive winning season at 6-5. Before that game, with the streak on the line, the alumni association solicited notes of encouragement for the team. Tuivai wrote one. Former Broncos' coach Dan Hawkins, another UC Davis alum, sent a four-page note,Tuivai said.
"Good. Maybe I can steal a page," joked Petersen, who wore a wide smile during his pre-game time on the sidelines.
The banter seemed indicative of the Broncos' emotions. BSU players emerged from their locker room for pre-game warmups much earlier than Oklahoma's players. The Broncos seemed loose and playful.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who was sworn in Monday morning, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne were on the BSU sidelines before the game.