The Pittsburgh Panthers have been on fire heading into the month of December. The Panthers have won four in a row after a 4-4 start and went from fighting for a place in the bowl season to a matchup of power 5 teams in the Sun Bowl against the UCLA Bruins.
The Sun Bowl is a matchup between the 5th choice from the ACC and a PAC-12 choice that is anywhere from fourth to eighth. Pitt and UCLA do have some history but have not played a game against each other since 1972 when UCLA won 38-28.
UCLA finished 9-3 on the season powered by dual-threat quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Thompson-Robinson has 3,514 yards of total offense passing and rushing and set career highs in both this season. The quarterback also has 36 total touchdowns on the season which is also a career-best. The fifth-year senior has not yet made a decision on if he will play in the bowl game yet or not and would be a difference-maker in this matchup. Neither has senior running back Zach Charbonnet, who is responsible for 1,680 total yards and 14 touchdowns on the season.
The Panthers and the Sun Bowl have some history that we need not remind Panther fans about again. This will be a great opportunity for the Panthers to end out the season with five straight wins and pick up another Power 5 win as well as a bowl game win which has mainly eluded Pat Narduzzi for the most part. Narduzzi is 1-4 in bowl games at Pittsburgh and can gain some valuable momentum for potential prospect flips and transfer portal players.
The Sun Bowl will be held Friday, December 30th at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso Texas.