Wednesday, December 31, 2008

75th Sun Bowl: Oregon State (8-4) vs. Pittsburgh (9-3)

The 2008 Sun Bowl hosts a match up of the Oregon State Beavers (8-4, tied for 2Nd in the Pac 10) vs. the Pittsburgh Panthers (9-3, tied for 2Nd in the Big East) in El Paso. The Pac 10 is going for their fifth straight win in the Sun Bowl, after Oregon won the one game vs. a Big East opponent, with a 56-21 win over USF last year.

Oregon State is playing in their third straight bowl game, after back to back wins in the '06 Sun Bowl and '07 Emerald Bowl with a one point win over Missouri and a 7 point win over Maryland, respectively. Pittsburgh is playing in their first bowl game under coach Dave Wannstedt, after seeing it's five year bowl streak end after the 2004 season. Pitt beat Oregon State 36-13 in the 2002 Insight Bowl.

Pittsburgh's three losses were vs. Bowling Green, in season opener, vs. Rutgers and at Cincinnati. Oregon State's four losses were at Stanford and at Penn State to open the season, then at Utah and vs. Oregon in the finale. Ironically, Oregon State was blasted at Penn State, while Pittsburgh beat Iowa at home. Iowa beat Penn State 24-23 this season. It doesn't mean much in this game, but it did cost the Nittany Lions a birth in the BCS championship game.

Experience favors the Beavers, with coach Mike Riley in his eighth season and winner of four consecutive bowl games. Ironically, the one bowl loss at Oregon State this decade was vs. Pittsburgh in 2002. Look for a good 2008 Sun Bowl celebrating the 75Th Anniversary of the bowl game.

Cidsports' Prediction

Oregon State 28
Pittsburgh 24


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