Get ready, El Paso, the Trojans are coming. USC has accepted a bid to the 2012 Sun Bowl and will face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets out of the ACC. With the Trojans completing a 7-5 despite lofty preseason expectations, it’s only fitting that they face a 6-7 Georgia Tech team that lost the ACC Championship Game to Florida State on Saturday. The Trojans are 2-1 all-time against the Yellow Jackets, with the last meeting coming in 1973, when No. 1 ranked USC prevailed 23-6 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
The Sun Bowl has been played annually since 1935, with the Pac-12 starting a consistent relationship with the game beginning in 1985 when Arizona tied with Georgia. Overall, the Pac-12 is 15-9 in the Pac-12, although Arizona State and Utah earned bids to El Paso before their admission to the conference.
This will be USC’s third ever appearance at the Sun Bowl. They lost to Michigan State in 1990 under the John Hancock Bowl moniker, and then in as part of the 1998 Sun Bowl against TCU.
In 1998, the only bowl appearance of the Paul Hackett era, the Trojans featured an offense led by freshman quarterback Carson Palmer and junior tailback Chad Morton. Despite the talent on the USC offense, the Horned Frogs held the Trojans to abysmal minus-23 yards rushing, while Basil Mitchell led a TCU ground game that totaled 314 yards. TCU jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter and never looked back, beating Troy 28-19.
The 2012 Sun Bowl will kick off at 11 a.m. Pacific, high-noon local time on New Year’s Eve, and will be broadcast on CBS with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson. It will be USC’s first appearance on CBS their 23-0 victory at Auburn back in 2003. That was Matt Leinart’s first start, while this will be Barkley’s last game as a Trojan.