Missouri will face Oregon St. in Sun Bowl

Monday, December 4, 2006

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri accepted an invitation Sunday to play Oregon State in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 29.

The Tigers (8-4), who finished second in the Big 12's North division, will be making back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 1997-98. Last season, Missouri beat South Carolina in the Independence Bowl.

"The people associated with the Sun Bowl run a first-class operation and we're looking forward to preparing for an excellent Oregon State team and getting to El Paso," said Tigers coach Gary Pinkel, who is taking Missouri to a bowl game for the third time in four seasons.

Oregon State (9-4) was invited last week to the Sun Bowl, then wrapped up its regular season with a 35-32 win at Hawaii on Saturday night. The Beavers moved into the rankings Sunday at No. 24, their first appearance in the Top 25 since October 2003.

At a news conference Sunday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo., Pinkel said he was pleased with his team's bowl destination.

"When you're in this situation, it's kind of win-win," Pinkel said. "If you told me at the beginning of the week this is the one you're going to get, I'd be very excited about it."

Oregon State finished third in the Pac-10, including a win over conference champion Southern California.

Missouri will be making its second trip to the Sun Bowl. Its only other trip came in 1973 when the Tigers beat Auburn 34-17. Pinkel has coached in two previous Sun Bowls, in 1979 and 1986, when he was an assistant at Washington.

-- The Associated Press

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