EL PASO, Texas -- The University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, Los Angeles will face off in the 89th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
The Pitt Panthers (8-4) finished the season second in the ACC Coastal division and the UCLA Bruins (9-3) finished in 6th place in PAC-12 standings and ranked 18th in the nation.
Both teams bring a calibre of football the Sun Bowl hasn't seen in years and it's the type of quality matchup the committee and fans deserve after enduring 2 years of uncertainty due to Covid-19.
"This ones special because we'v come through that and gone through that wave of bad, bad luck, it's going to be great," John Folmer Sun Bowl chairman said.
This will be the 15th time the Bruins and Panthers have met but you have to go all the way back to 1972 for their last game. UCLA won that 38-28 and that could actually be a very similar scoreline in this years game.
The Bruins average nearly 40 points a game and let in just over 28 whereas the panthers score on average nearly 31 points a game and allow 23.
"Hopefully they'll put on a show of 48-45, I don't care who wins lets just put some points on the board," Bernie Olivas Executive Director of the Sun Bowl said. "To have a 9-3 and 8-4 is something we haven't had in a long time but now we have a ranked UCLA and Pittsburgh that are right outside rankings. I don't think with the teams that are available to us that we could have done any better than have that matchup."
It's a game that should be filled with lots of touchdowns especially since both sides have a player that has scored at least 20 touchdowns this season.
QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson has 2,883 yards and 25 touchdowns through the air and 631 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground for the Bruins. Meanwhile RB Israel Abanikanda led the ACC with 1,431 yards and 20 touchdowns - 6 of those coming in Pitts game against Virginia Tech.
Pitt and UCLA will play at the Sun Bowl on Dec. 30, 2022 with kickoff set for 12 p.m. and you can buy tickets here.