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

December, 7, 2008
12/07/08
8:23
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Pittsburgh has already exceeded most expectations this season, winning nine games and making its first bowl game in coach Dave Wannstedt's four years. A bowl victory over a Pac-10 team would place a nice bow on the year and give the school its first 10-win season since 1981. And it would announce Pitt as a team to be reckoned with next year as many of its key players return.

The Panthers have finally shown an ability to finish this year, both in close games and late in the year. They won squeakers over Notre Dame and West Virginia and went 4-1 over their final five games.

This should be a high-scoring game against Oregon State, which is averaging 32.8 points a game. Pitt led the Big East in scoring at 29.3 points per game. If the Beavers' electric freshman, Jacquizz Rodgers, is healthy, that will set up a match-up between two of the nation's most exciting running backs. Pittsburgh sophomore LeSean McCoy led the FBS in scoring with 21 touchdowns.

This is also a rematch of the 2002 Insight Bowl, which Pittsburgh won, 38-13. That was the last bowl victory for the Panthers, who will look to get back on the right path in El Paso.

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