Scarlett scores both TDs, Stanford tops Pitt 14-13 Sun Bowl

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Cameron Scarlett scored on a 1-yard run and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a second score to lead Stanford to a 14-13 victory against Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl on Monday.

The Cardinal (9-4) finished on a four-game winning streak, much the same way they did two years ago when Stanford won the Sun Bowl for a season-ending six-game streak.

The Panthers (7-7) lost their fourth straight bowl game and sixth in the past seven after falling to playoff championship finalist Clemson in the ACC title game. The past three losses have been in four years in under coach Pat Narduzzi.

Pitt, which had a 10-7 halftime lead and was up 13-7 early in the fourth quarter, was led by tailback Darrin Hall, who had 16 carries for 123 yards and a score.

Stanford’s offense, which had struggled all day, finally got going in the fourth quarter.

The Cardinal were 0 for 8 on third downs before K.J. Costello hit JJ Arcega-Whiteside for a 12-yard completion. A 49-yard pass to Arcega-Whiteside followed, and Scarlett recovered Costello’s fumble for the go-ahead score on the next play with 11:28 left.

Scarlett had 91 yards on 21 carries in place of tailback Bryce Love, who decided to skip the bowl game to rehab an ankle injury ahead of the NFL draft. Love was the second Stanford back to do that in the past three Sun Bowls.

In 2016, Christian McCaffrey skip the game, was drafted eighth overall by Carolina and just finished sixth in the NFL in rushing in his second season.

THE TAKEAWAY

Stanford: Arcega-Whiteside entered the game needing one touchdown catch to break the school season record of 14 he shared with Hall of Famer James Lofton. But the senior was limited to three catches without a TD. Still, the Cardinal won for the first time this season without forcing a turnover. Stanford had been 0-4 in such games.

Pittsburgh: The game was the final one for the 1-2 rushing punch of Qadree Ollison and Hall, the first duo in program history with at least 1,000 yards apiece in a season. Ollison, who was injured in the first half and didn’t return, had 1,213 yards. Hall finished with 1,144 yards.

UP NEXT

Stanford: The Cardinal have been able to reload each year under head coach David Shaw, who is 82-26 overall (55-17 Pac-12). Shaw has never won less than eight games in a season, and his Cardinal have played in four Pac-12 title games (3-1). Stanford opens at home against Northwestern on Aug. 31.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers are coming off their first ACC Coastal Division title under Narduzzi, who with 28 wins is second in program history to Jackie Sherrill (39). Pitt will open against an ACC opponent to be determined, probably on Aug. 31.

Pitt to play Stanford in the Sun Bowl

on Sunday afternoon, it was announced that Pitt would face Stanford in the Sun Bowl on December 31, 2018 .

this will not be either team’s first foray into postseason play in El Paso. Stanford has played in the Sun Bowl four times, making trips in 1977, 1996, 2009 and 2016. Pitt has been there three times before, visiting the Sun City in 1975, 1989 and 2008. During their last trip, the Panthers took part in an infamous 3-0 loss to Oregon State. It was the lowest-scoring bowl game since Air Force and TCU played to a scoreless draw at the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1959.

This season, Pitt played to a 7-6 record and fell one win short of playing in a New Year’s Day bowl game. However, the game the Panthers needed to win was Saturday’s disappointing 42-10 loss to Clemson in the ACC championship.

Stanford performed similarly to Pitt this season, playing to an 8-4 record. The Cardinal did not win their division, instead coming third in the Pac-12 North behind Washington and Washington State. However, they did account for wins over ranked rivals early in the season, including No. 17 USC on Sept. 8 and No. 20 Oregon on Sept. 20. With that said, they struggled to a 38-17 loss to No. 8 Notre Dame on Sept. 29, while Pitt played the same team close two weeks later.

The two teams are set to meet in El Paso for the 85th annual Sun Bowl on Dec. 31. The game will be broadcast nationally on CBS, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. ET.  Airtime on Beaver County Radio will be 12 noon.

 

No. 2 Clemson clobbers Pitt 42-10 for 4th straight ACC title

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Travis Etienne ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns, Trevor Lawrence threw two short scoring passes to Tee Higgins and No. 2 Clemson beat Pitt 42-10 on Saturday night to become the first team to win four straight Atlantic Coast Conference championships.

Clemson (13-0, CFP No. 2) is expected to face third-ranked Notre Dame, which was idle Saturday, in the College Football Playoffs on Dec. 29.

The Tigers ran for 301 yards and four touchdowns and averaged 9 yards per carry on a dreary, rain-soaked night in which Lawrence was limited to 118 yards passing.

Clemson forced three turnovers, including two in the first half that gave the offense the ball inside the Pitt 10 and led to 14 points. The Tigers limited Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett to 8 yards passing and had nine tackles for a loss.

The Tigers joined the Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators (1993-96) as the only Power Five teams to win four straight conference titles. The historic win comes exactly 10 years after Dabo Swinney was hired as Clemson head coach.

The Tigers entered the game as a 27 1/2-point favorite and Swinney’s team looked as if it would put Pitt away early after Etienne scored on his first two carries.

The ACC player of the year took a handoff on the first play from scrimmage, ran to the right, cutback and raced 75 yards for his 20th touchdown of the season — the quickest TD in the conference championship history. He added a second scoring run a few minutes later after Isaiah Simmons stripped Pickett of the ball and Christian Wilkins return it to the Pitt 3.

Etienne had 78 yards on his first two carries, equaling Clemson’s rushing total from last year’s ACC title game win over Miami.

Pitt (7-6) would show signs of life though, scoring 10 straight points behind a 1-yard TD run by Qadree Ollison to cut the lead to 14-10.

But the Panthers, which had a knack for upsetting No. 2-ranked teams under coach Pat Narduzzi — they upset Clemson in 2016 and Miami in the 2017 regular season finale — ran out of magic.

Lawrence found his fellow freshman Higgins on TD passes of 5 and 10 in the second quarter, the latter coming after a 38-yard interception return by A.J. Terrell, to take a 28-10 lead at halftime. Adam Choice and Lyn-J Dixon added fourth quarter touchdown runs for the Tigers.

THE TAKEAWAY

Pitt: The Panthers need some major upgrades in the passing game to take the next step in the ACC. The Tigers experienced and heralded defensive front of ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant and tackles Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence dominated the line of scrimmage. However, Pitt ran for nearly 200 yards on Clemson and Ollison and Darrin Hall became the first Panthers tandem to both surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season,

Clemson: The Tigers won their 13th game for the third time in four seasons, continuing a remarkable run under Dabo Swinney. Their offense struggled at times and Lawrence wasn’t particularly sharp, which could be a concern moving forward against better competition.

UP NEXT

Pitt: The Panthers will wait to see where they are headed for a bowl game.

Clemson: The Tigers advanced to the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight season. They’re expected to play Notre Dame.