"We are very excited about returning to a place that we have fond memories of," Beaver head coach Mike Riley said in a release. "Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and I are very close. We used to scrimmage against each other in the NFL when I was with the Chargers and he was with the Dolphins. It's a great match-up and it will be an exciting game for our team and fans."
The Beavs will be looking to complete their third straight season ranked in the final Top 25 polls. In 2006, the Beavs were ranked No. 21 and 22 in the final AP and USA Today/Coaches polls, respectively. Last season, OSU finished up at No. 25 in the AP.
The Beavers will be making their second appearance in the El Paso event, defeating Missouri in a 39-38 thriller in 2006. OSU quarterback Matt Moore tossed a Sun Bowl record four touchdown passes as the Beavers rallied from a fourth quarter 14-point deficit. With less than a minute remaining, Moore hit tight end Joe Newton to bring the Beavs to within a point at 38-37. Riley then rolled the dice and Yvenson Bernard ran for a successful two-point conversion. Moore was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
The Beavers and Panthers have met only once prior, playing in the 2002 Insight Bowl at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. After being tied 10-10 at the half, Pitt raced away to a 38-13 win in what was then OSU head coach Dennis Erickson's final game. The '02 Insight is also the last time OSU has lost a bowl contest, having won four straight since then -- the longest current winning streak of any Pac-10 team.
Oregon State enters this year's Sun Bowl with an 8-4 record, finishing tied for second in the Pac-10 at 7-2. Pittsburgh is 9-3 and finished tied for second in the Big East with a 5-2 mark. The Beavs are ranked No. 24 and No. 25 in the AP and USA Today/Coaches Poll, respectively, while Pitt is ranked No. 18 in the AP, No. 21 in the Coaches'.
Tickets for the Brut Sun Bowl according to OSU are available to 2008 season ticket holders, via priority, through Mon., Dec. 8 until 4:30 p.m. Non-season ticket holders can order tickets beginning Tues., Dec. 9 at 8:30 a.m. Tickets may be ordered via 1-800-GO-BEAVS, in person at the Gill Coliseum ticket office or via osubeavers.com
OREGON STATE IS 5-2 IN BOWL GAMES SINCE 1999
2007 W Emerald Bowl Oregon State 21 Maryland 14
2006 W Sun Bowl Oregon State 39 Missouri 38
2004 W Insight Bowl Oregon State 38 Notre Dame 21
2003 W Las Vegas Bowl Oregon State 55 New Mexico 14
2002 L Insight Bowl Pittsburgh 38 Oregon State 13
2001 W Fiesta Bowl Oregon State 41 Notre Dame 9
1999 L Oahu Bowl Hawaii 23 Oregon State 17