Fresno State fans plan for the Royal Purple Vegas Bowl

FRESNO, Calif.

Lee House just bought a batch of tickets for himself and his friends.

"I think we have a chance we beat 'em once before and almost beat 'em a second time I think we've got just as good a chance this time," House said.

Sharon Massie who was buying her husband a shirt at the Bulldog Store felt the same way.

"Well they beat USC once before and I watched it and I think they can do it again," Massie said.

The Fresno State beat USC at the Freedom Bowl in 1991 and suffered a narrow loss at their second matchup in 2005. Associate Athletic Director Paul Ladwig says it's a plus the 'Dogs are playing a big name team fairly close to home.

"For our fans it's a six hour drive, a 45 minute plane ride, we've heard about fans renting buses, getting their party bus together, we've had fans buying blocks of 30-40 tickets because they want their whole office to go. So yes, we believe we will have a pretty good Red Wave showing in Las Vegas," Ladwig said.

Fans like Vince Torrez are planning to hit the road.

"Oh we're driving. We'll drive. Everybody jump in the vehicle and drive. Should be fun," Torrez said.

Air travel appears to be a limited option. Allegiant Air, the only non-stop carrier from Fresno to Vegas is sold out for a Friday December 20th departure, returning on Sunday.

As of Monday afternoon Allegiant Air had a few tickets for travelers willing to leave Thursday and come back Monday. (The Las Vegas bowl will be played Saturday the 21st, at Sam Boyd Stadium.) Other airlines offered flights with stops in LA or Phoenix for a lot more money, with long layovers.

Ladwig says the university isn't offering an y package deals for this trip.

" We can't beat any of the Las Vegas hotel deals so book your hotel room but buy your tickets through Fresno State that is the best way to help us," Ladwig said.

For fans like Dale Phillips the matchup and location is a great pre-Christmas present.

"I always look forward to going to Las Vegas, but this should be fun," Phillips said.

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