With its first game held on January 1,1935, the Sun Bowl is one of the longest-running games. It is matched in longevity only by the Orange and Sugar Bowls, and surpassed only by the Rose Bowl.
Oregon State (8-4, 7-2 Pac-10) finished tied for second in the Pac-10 Conference and is the only school to defeat USC, 27-21 this season. The Beavers will face Pittsburgh (9-3, 5-2), who finished second in the Big East Conference.
"Everything has seemingly fallen into place to celebrate the 75th edition of the Brut Sun Bowl," said executive director Bernie Olivas.
This is the second appearance by Oregon State. The Beavers edged Missouri, 39-38, in the 2006 Brut Sun Bowl. Pittsburgh will be making its third appearance after appearing in the 1975 and 1989 Sun Bowls.
The Oregon State offense features freshman standout Jacquizz Rodgers and senior wideout Sammie Stroughter. Rodgers ranks second in the Pac-10 and 13th nationally in rushing, averaging 113.9 yards a game. Stroughter, who set up the game winning score at the 2006 Brut Sun Bowl with a 38-yard punt return, has recorded 64 catches for 952 yards and seven touchdowns.
Oregon State QB Lyle Moevao had 19 TD passes and 11 INT's. He threw a career-best 5 TD passes in a 65-38 loss to Oregon in the season finale.
Pittsburgh secured its selection with a 34-10 road win over Connecticut. The win marked the fourth win in the last five games for the Panthers and gave them their first 9-win regular season since 1982.
"A trip to El Paso for this year's Sun Bowl is a tremendous reward for our football program and university," said Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt. "I had the pleasure of being part of this great bowl game as a first-year grad assistant at Pitt with Coach Majors back in 1975."
Pittsburgh defeated Kansas, 33-19, in the 1975 Sun Bowl. Wannstedt served as a graduate assistant coach for Majors. The Panthers set an NCAA bowl game record that day, as three players from the same team rushed for 100 yards. Tony Dorsett rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns and Elliott Walker added 123 yards and two touchdowns, while the game's MVP, quarterback Robert Haygood, added 101 yards rushing and 60 yards through the air on eight of 11 passing.
This year's squad was led by running back LeSean McCoy who ranks 10th nationally with 116.92 yards per game, 7th in yards with 1,403, and tied for 2nd in touchdowns with 21.
The Panther passing game is suspect with Bill Stull tossing 9 TD's and 9 INT's.
This marks the 25th bowl appearance by Pittsburgh, but the first since the 2004 season, when the Panthers won a share of the Big East Conference title and participated in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Pittsburgh is 11-13 all-time in bowl appearance and 2-0 in the Brut Sun Bowl.