Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Announces Arizona State vs. Florida State
The stage is set for the 86th annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, as Pac-12 affiliate, Arizona State (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) will square up against ACC foe Florida State (6-6, 4-4 ACC) on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at noon.
This marks Arizona State's third Sun Bowl appearance in six years. Most recently, they lost 52-31 to NC State (2017) and beat Duke 36-31 (2014). Florida State has been to the Sun Bowl twice and lost on both occasions—1966 (Wyoming, 28-20) and 1955 (UTEP, 47-20).
Florida State announced their new head coach Mike Norvell (Memphis) on Sunday, while interim coach Odell Haggins will finish the season coaching in the Sun Bowl. The program fired their head coach Willie Taggart on Nov. 3 after he went 9-12.
The Seminoles are led by their quarterback James Blackman (2,095 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, six interceptions) and running back Cam Akers (1,144 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns). They won three of their last five games but were not able to beat any ranked team this season.
The Sun Devils, coached by former NFL and TV analyst Herm Edwards, boast a young, talented bunch out of the Pac-12. Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels threw for 2,748 yards, with 17 touchdowns this season, while standout running back Eno Benjamin put up 1,083 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. They also have an NFL prospect in receiver Brandon Aiyuk—1,192 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Arizona State got off to a strong start to the season, but fell in four straight games, including losses to UCLA and Oregon State. An upset win against Oregon set the Sun Devils up for back-to-back wins to close out their season.
Both schools have met only four times in history, the last being in 1984. Florida State leads the all-time series 3-1 but Arizona State's win came in the only bowl matchup they had in the 1971 Fiesta Bowl.
Stanford beat Pitt, 14-13 in the 2018 Sun Bowl.