File photo by Chris Stone.

For the first time in nearly a decade, two top-20 teams will be facing off in the Holiday Bowl this year. No. 16 Michigan State and No. 18 Washington State will be playing in the 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.

This will be the first appearance for the Spartans and fourth for the Cougars in the Holiday Bowl, which pits the Big Ten against the Pacific 12.

This will be Michigan State‘s (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten) 10th bowl appearances under coach Mark Dantonio, who’s headed the program since 2007 — the most for any coach in the program’s history.

Earlier this season, Washington State (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) upset both nationally ranked USC and Stanford. The Cougar’s record in the Holiday Bowl is 1-2. They lost to BYU in 1981 and Minnesota in 2016. Washington State defeated Texas 28-20 in 2003.

The Holiday Bowl matchup will the first time the Cougars face the Spartans since 1977. Michigan State and Washington State have played head-to-head seven times, with the Spartans leading the series 5-2.

The Cougars will pit its top passing offenses against a stout Spartan defense. Led by senior quarterback Luke Falk, Washington State averaged 374 yards passing per game and 35 touchdowns this season. Michigan State’s defense, meanwhile, held opponents to 196 passing yards per game, with 28 sacks and 13 interceptions this season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 28 at SDCCU stadium. The game will be televised on FS1.