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Stanford Selected to the 2018 Sun Bowl, Will Play Pittsburgh

Stanford is heading back to a New Year’s Eve bowl game!

NCAA Football: Sun Bowl-Arizona State vs North Carolina State Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford will be playing against Pittsburgh in the 85th edition of the Sun Bowl. The Sun Bowl is the second-oldest bowl game in existence, only behind the Rose Bowl. The last time Stanford appeared in the Sun Bowl (2016), Stanford defeated North Carolina, 25-23.

How Did We Get Here?

Stanford started off the season with four straight wins, including a near-impossible comeback victory over Oregon. In the game against Oregon, ESPN in-game win probabilities had Stanford as a 99% underdog at two different points during the game.

The middle of Stanford’s season got a bit a rockier, though. Stanford lost four of the next five, with blowout losses to both Notre Dame and Utah, as well as narrow losses to Washington and Washington State.

Stanford wrapped up the season with three straight wins, extending its win streaks against UCLA (11 straight wins), Oregon State (9 straight wins), and Cal (9 straight wins). These three win streaks are the longest active win streaks in Pac-12 conference games (USC’s 8-game win streak over Colorado is 4th place).

Who Will Stanford Play?

It’s entirely possible that the most prolific running back in the Sun Bowl will not be named “Bryce Love.” Running behind a strong offensive line, Qadree Ollison rushed for 100+ yards in four different games this season (Love only rushed for 100+ yards once this season), and against Virginia Tech, Ollison put up a monster 235 rushing yards, which is nearly 100 yards better than Love’s best game this season (136 yards against USC).

Outside of an elite rushing attack, the rest of the Pittsburgh team looks quite a bit weaker. Pittsburgh’s 6.4 yards/pass attempt ranks 107th in FBS, and Pittsburgh’s defense giving up 5.8 yards/play ranks 85th in FBS.

How Can I Watch?

The game is on December 31st at 11 AM Pacific Time on CBS. Or, if you decide to pack up your bags for El Paso, it will be at 12 PM local time in Sun Bowl Stadium.