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Sunday, December 7, 2008
Sun Bowl: Oregon State (8-4) vs. Pitt (9-3)

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

This is an intriguing matchup between teams led by former NFL head coaches who came out of the gate slowly.

Oregon State, of course, did its annual 2-3 start, getting humiliated at Penn State, 45-14, in the process, while Pitt opened the season with an inglorious loss to Bowling Green, which caused some Panthers fans to start screaming for coach Dave Wannstedt's head on a platter.

Both bounced back, but last-season defeats prevented them from obtaining grander hopes. The Panthers' best weapon is running back LeSean McCoy, so it will be interesting to see if the Beavers' run defense bounces back from a terrible performance in the blowout loss to Oregon.

If so, the Panthers don't protect quarterback Bill Stull very well. On the other side of the ball, running back Jacquizz Rodgers is expected back for the Beavers, but his brother, receiver/scatback James, won't be. And this is a big special-teams mismatch in favor of Pitt, which has blocked 10 kicks this season.