An excited Ronnie Palmer hoists the Las Vegas Bowl trophy following Arizona’s 31-21 win over BYU at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Dec. 20, 2008.

David Sanders

Linebacker Ronnie Palmer hoisted the Las Vegas Bowl trophy after Arizona’s 31-21 win over BYU in the Wildcats’ first bowl game in 10 years.

Arizona hasn’t played UNLV in Las Vegas before, but the UA is no stranger to Sin City.

Surely you remember the UA’s 31-21 win over then No. 17 BYU in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl. It was the Wildcats’ first bowl appearance since a 23-20 win over Nebraska in the 1998 Holiday Bowl.

Ten years later, in front of 40,047 fans on a chilly night (there probably won’t be half as many there tonight), quarterback Willie Tuitama led the Wildcats by passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns.

Delashaun Dean and Chris Gronkowski both caught touchdown passes and Nicolas Grigsby rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

The game was also memorable for one other reason. It marked the final game of the Rob Gronkowski era at Arizona. The star tight end finished with four catches for 27 yards.