Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 12/2/12
LOS ANGELES - The USC football team will play in the 79th annual Hyundai Sun Bowl against Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Georgia Tech at noon MT on Dec. 31 in El Paso, Tex. The game will be broadcast live nationally on CBS-TV and Sports USA Radio Network. "After not being in a bowl the past two years, we look forward to playing in a bowl with the tradition of the Sun Bowl, said USC head coach Lane Kiffin. Georgia Tech is a very well-coached team and will present a challenge on both sides of the ball, especially with their great ability to run the ball. "Although our season didn't go as well as we hoped, we appreciate the opportunity we now have to play another game and attempt to go out on a winning note." Not only will this be USCs first bowl game after a 2-year NCAA post-season ban, it will be Troys first meeting with the Yellow Jackets since 1973 (and fourth overall). The Trojans are 2-1 in the series with Georgia Tech. USC has played in the Sun Bowl twice previously. The Trojans lost to Michigan State, 17-16, in the 1990 John Hancock Bowl and to TCU, 28-19, in the 1998 Sun Bowl. It will be USCs first trip to Texas since that 1998 Sun Bowl. The Trojans are 9-3 in the state. The game will be USCs fourth on New Years Eve and all have been in Texas. Besides the 2 previous Sun Bowls, USC beat Texas A&M, 47-28, in the 1977 Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston on Dec. 31. USC has a 32-16 all-time bowl record (1 win and 1 loss were later vacated by NCAA penalty). The Trojans have the nations third highest bowl winning percentage (.667) among the 79 schools that have made at least 10 bowl appearances. USCs 32 bowl victories are second most in the nation and its 48 bowl appearances are fourth most. Troy has appeared in 13 different bowls, including 33 Rose Bowls. The 2012 Trojans, with a 7-5 record, are led on offense by All-American wide receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, Pac-12 career passing leader Matt Barkley at quarterback, 1,000-yard career rushers Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd at tailback and All-Pac-12 first team center Khaled Holmes. Key players on defense are All-American safety T.J. McDonald, Hendricks Award finalist end Morgan Breslin, Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year Leonard Williams at tackle, cornerback Nickell Robey and linebackers Hayes Pullard and Dion Bailey. Georgia Tech, led by head coach Paul Johnson, is 6-7 overall and won the ACC Coastal Division. Because the Yellow Jackets lost to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game to fall below .500, they were granted an NCAA waiver to qualify for a bowl, their 16th consecutive year in the post-season (and 41st bowl overall). After starting 2012 with just 3 wins in its first 8 games (with a pair of overtime losses), Tech won its next 3 contests before dropping its past 2 games. The Yellow Jackets spread option attack is fourth nationally in rushing offense (312.5 yards per game) while averaging 34.5 points a game. QB Tevin Washington, who has thrown for 1,173 yards and run for another 638 yards with 19 rushing TDs this season, holds ACC records for quarterback rushing TDs in a career (37) and season (19). RBs Orwin Smith (673 yards) and Zach Laskey (637 yards) also have rushed for 600-plus yards in 2012. OG Omoregie Uzzi is a 2-time All-ACC first teamer. Ss Isaiah Johnson and Jemea Thomas lead the 2012 team in tackles with 87 and 82, respectively. Techs defense ranks no higher than 47th in any NCAA stat category, allowing 387.0 total yards and 29.9 points. Georgia Tech lost to Utah, 30-27 in overtime, in last years Sun Bowl.
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