Fork the Spear: ASU and FSU to Meet in the 2019 Sun Bowl
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December 8, 2019 3:33 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona State Sun Devils will face the Florida State Seminoles in the 86th annual Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas, Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas announced on Sunday afternoon.

ASU will play in its 32nd bowl game overall and the team’s eighth bowl appearance in the last nine seasons. It will be the Sun Devils’ seventh overall appearance in the Sun Bowl, appearing in 1940, 1941, 1997, 2004, 2014 and 2017. 
The 86th Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl will be played Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 12 noon MT (2:00 p.m. ET) at Sun Bowl Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on CBS, for the 52nd year, featuring teams from the ACC and the Pac-12 Conference. Arizona State will serve as the home team in the contest.
“Arizona State University and Sun Devil nation will enjoy The Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl experience,” Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said.  “We are great friends with the Sun Bowl organization and they always welcome us with open arms.  This will be a fantastic reward and experience for our football team, its seniors and our fans.  The Sun Bowl committee and community put on a first-class experience for everyone.”

Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. on Dec. 9, and can be purchased by calling the Sun Devil Athletics Ticket Office at 480-727-0000 or by clicking here. Football season ticket holders and Sun Devil Club members were rewarded with the exclusive right to request bowl tickets shortly after ASU’s victory over Oregon to become bowl eligible.
Fans are encouraged to support Sun Devil Athletics and purchase tickets through the Sun Devil Athletics Ticket Office as opposed to purchasing tickets through the bowl itself. Information on student ticketing will be available on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
“The Tony The Tiger Bowl invitation provides a tremendous opportunity for our team and coaching staff to compete against a quality program and close out the 2019 season,” Head Coach Herm Edwards said. “We look forward to representing Arizona State University and our fans in El Paso.  A bowl game is a reward for a good season and I am grateful for our players and coaching staff to be able to have this experience.”


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The Sun Devils are coming off a 7-5 campaign that saw the program finish third in the Pac-12 South under second-year head coach Herm Edwards

Arizona State enters the contest riding a two-game win streak to cap the regular season, featuring a historic upset of sixth-ranked Oregon before closing out the year with its third consecutive victory of the Arizona Wildcats in the annual Territorial Cup contest – the first three-game winning streak in the series since 2005-07.

The Sun Devils went 3-1 over ranked opponents this season and Edwards already has five wins over ranked opponents to his name in his tenure at ASU.

The offense has been highlighted by another exceptional season from running back Eno Benjamin, who has posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the first time at ASU since Freddie Williams in the 1970s. Benjamin has 2,867 rushing yards in his career and now sits in seventh-place on the school’s all-time rushing list. He is within 127 yards of Leon Burton (1952-54), who is sixth in ASU history. 

For the third consecutive season, the Sun Devils also lay claim to a 1,000-yard receiver with Brandon Aiyuk entering the game 8th nationally and 2nd in the Pac-12 with 1,192 receiving yards on the year while his 99.3 receiving yards per game are also 13th in the FBS and second in the league. He is fifth in ASU single season history in single-season receiving yards and within 18 of fourth and 56 of third. 

At the helm of the Sun Devil offense has been true freshman sensation Jayden Daniels. The first true freshman to start a season at quarterback in ASU history, Daniels sits in the Top-30 in in the FBS in passing efficiency (19th, 153.5), passing yards per game (28th, 249.8), and total offense (24th, 278.1). At 2,748 passing yards, Daniels has easily surpassed Rudy Carpenter’s previous freshman school record of 2,273 yards. Daniels total is 13th in school history with the bowl game remaining.

The Sun Devil defense has continued to see exceptional improvements under defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales.  ASU finished the regular season 39th in scoring defense, allowing just 23.1 points per game – notables as the Sun Devils had finished 99th or worse in three consecutive seasons prior to Gonzales taking the reins on the defensive end.  ASU has held opponents to 30 points or less in 16 of 25 games under Gonzales after opponents scored at least 30 in 32 of 43 games previously.

The rushing defense has been stingy for the Sun Devils, ranked 21st nationally in allowing just 116.8 yards per game – the best ranking at the end of the regular season for ASU since the 2009 Sun Devils were 19th (108.58 rushing yards per game). ASU has allowed 155 or fewer rushing yards in 11 of 12 games this season, the first time in program history to accomplish the feat since regular seasons expanded to 12 games in the late 1990s.

Since the first Sun Bowl played on January 1, 1935, as a fundraising event for a local service club, the game has grown into El Paso’s number one national attraction. With its picturesque stadium nestled between two mountains it has become a piece of the Southwest and a lesson in history.

For the last 85 years, the Sun Bowl has featured the color and pageantry that is college football. Seven of the top 10 winningest programs of all-time have participated in the Sun Bowl and 30 college programs that have won national championships in the past have appeared as well. Through the years, 38 Sun Bowls have been decided by a touchdown or less, including six of the last 11 games. Through its history, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl has featured 78 different programs, more than any other bowl in the nation.


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