Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game preview, how to watch, how to live stream, live updates

The Pitt Panthers will field a remarkably different roster when they face UCLA No. 18 in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl this Friday. It will be Pitt’s 37th all-time post-season appearance and sixth under the head coach. Pat Narduzzi. These two teams will meet for the first time in 50 years. UCLA defeated Pitt 38-28 at Pitt Stadium on September 16, 1972. Pitt finished the regular season with an overall record of 8-5 (5-3 ACC) while UCLA finished the regular season with an overall record 9-3 overall. (6-3 IPC-12).

WHAT: Tony The Tiger Bowl of Sunshine | El Paso, Texas

WHEN: December 30, 2022 | 2 p.m. ET (noon, MT)

WHERE: Sun Bowl Stadium

HOW TO WATCH: CBS

HOW TO STREAM LIVE: Fubo TV

JOIN ED O’BRIEN FOR LIVE IN-GAME UPDATES

LIKELY STARTING OFFENCE, DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS FOR PITT AND UCLA

LIKELY PITT STARTING OFFENSE

Running back Rodney Hammond Jr. – a player Pitt would miss dearly (Photo: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports)

QB: No. 12 Nick Patti | 6-3 | 225 | SR*

RB: No. 6 Rodney Hammond | 5-9 | 200 | SO

WR: No. 5 Jared Wayne | 6-3 | 210 | RS

WR: No. 14 Konata Mumpfield | 6-1 | 180 | RS

WR: No. 14 Myles Alston | 6-1 | 180 | FR*

TE: No. 86 Gavin Barthelemy

LT: No. 78 Branson Taylor | 6-5 | 320 | SO*

LG: No. 55 Mark Minor | 6-4 | 325 | RS+

CO: No. 53 Jake Kradel | 6-3 | 305 | SR* OR #60 Owen Drexel | 6-3 | 305 | RS+

RG: NO. 68 Blake Zubovic | 6-4 | 320 |

RT: No. 70 Matt Goncalves | 6-6 | 315 | JR*

UCLA LIKELY STARTING DEFENSE

(Photo: Steve Cheng, BRO, 247Sports)

Line of defense players

No. 99 Jacob Sykes | 6-3 | 277 | SR*

No. 93 Jay Toia | 6-3 | 325 | SO

linebackers

OLB: No. 11 Gabriel Murphy | 6-3 | 262 | SO*

OLB: No. 33 Bo Calvert | 6-3 | 235 | SR*

LB: No. 21 Jon Jon Vaughns | 6-1 | 215 | J.R.

LB: No. 53 Darius Muasau | 6-1 | 230 | JR*

LB: No. 20 Kain Medrano | 6-3 | 230 | JR*

Cornerbacks

Number 6 John Humphrey | 6-2 | 192 | J.R.

#3 Devin Kirkwood | 6-3 | 194 | SO

Securities

No. 7 Mo Osling III | 6-1 | 194 | SR*

Number 4 Stephan Blaylock | 5-11 | 193 | SR*

LIKELY PITT STARTING DEFENSE

Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Erick Hallett (31) (Photo: © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY Sports)

Defensive purposes

No. 87 Habacuc Baldonado | 6-5 | 260 | SR*

No. 50 Dayon Hayes | 6-3 | 275 | J.R.

Defensive tackles

No. 95 Devin Danielson| 6-2 | 300 | SR*

No. 2 David Green | 6-1 | 280 | SR*

Star linebacker

No. 11 Bangally Kamara | 6-2 | 225 | J.R.

Mike Linebacker

No. 32 Shayne Simon | 6-3 | 235 | SR*

Silver Linebacker

No. 10 Tylar Wiltz | 6-1 | 210 | RS+

Strong security

No. 20 Javon McIntyre | 6-0 | 195 | FR*

Free Security

No. 31 Eric Hallet II | 5-11 | 195 | SR*

Cornerback

No. 12 MJ Devonshire | 5-11 | 190 | JR*

Cornerback

No. 14 MARQUIS WILLIAMS | 5-9 | 180 | SR*

LIKELY STARTING OFFENSE AT UCLA

Zach Charbonnet
Zach Charbonnet (Photo: Getty)

QB: No. 1 Dorian Thompson Robinson | 6-1 | 205 | SR*

RB: No. 24 Zach Charbonnet | 6-1 | 220 | RS

WR: No. 0 Kam Brown | 6-0 | 190 | JR*

WR: No. 9 Jacques Bobo | 6-5 | 215 | SR*

WR: No. 19 Kazmeir Allen | 5-9 | 175 | 200 | JR*

LT: Raiqwon O’Neal | 6-4 | 305 | JR*

LG: No. 56 Atonio Mafi | 6-4 | 339 | SR*

CO: No. 62 Duke Clemens | 6-3 | 302 | SR*

RG: No. 57 Jon Gaines II | 6-4 | 300 | RS

RT: No. 72 Garrett DiGiorgio | 6-6 | 312 | FR*

SPECIAL PITT TEAMS

Placekicker: No. 90 Ben Sauls | 5-10 | 185 | SO*

Punter: Caleb Junko | 6-1 | 200 | FR* or Cam Guess | 5-11 | 200 | SO* or Sam Vander Haar | 6-0 | 205 | FR

Holder: Cam Guess | 5-11 | 200 | SO

Long Snapper: Byron Floyd | 6-1 | 240 | SO*

Kick-off returner: Rodney Hammond JR. | 5-9 | 200 | JR*

Punt returner: MJ Devonshire

Kick-offs: Ben Sauls | 5-10 | 185 | SO*

UCLA SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker: No. 2 Nicholas BarrMira | 6-0 | 170 | JR*

Gambler: Nicholas BarrMira

Holder: No. 23 Sean Holland | 6-2 | 215 | SR*

Long Snapper: No. 51 Jack Landherr IV | 6-1 | 238 | RS

Kick-off returner: Kazmeir Allen

Kick returner: No. 17 Logan Loya | 5-11 | 180 | J.R.

Kick off: No. 93 RJ Lopez | 5-11 | 185 | J.R.

QUICK LOOK AT PITTSBURGH

Offense

You can throw out all the regular season offensive stats for two big reasons: the absences of quarterback Kedon Slovis and running back Israel Abanikanda. Slovis entered the transfer portal and decided to transfer to BYU. Abanikanda declared for the NFL Draft and opted out of the Sun Bowl. Nick Patti will start at quarterback and Rodney Hammond will start at running back. The wide receiver group stays in touch with Jared Wayne, Bub Means and Konata Mumpfield. Offensive linemen Carter Warren and Gabe Houy both declared for the NFL Draft and opted out of the game. Warren has only played four games this season due to injury.

Hammond has missed several games this season but managed to rush for 366 yards and three touchdowns on 84 carries. C’Bo Flemister, who has rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries this season, should also get significant touches. Jared Wayne leads the wide receiving group with 55 catches for 1,012 yards and five touchdowns. Pitt will most likely rely on his running game despite the fact that ACC Offensive Player of the Year Israel Abanikanda won’t play the starring role against UCLA on Saturday.

Defense

Pitt’s defense will also be different from his last game against Miami. Finished Brandon Hill (safety), Calijah Kancey (defensive end), Deslin Alexandre (defensive end) and SirVocea Dennis (linebacker). All declared for the NFL Draft. The good news is that 3/4 of Pitt’s starting secondary will play: safety Erick Hallet and cornerbacks Marquis Williams and MJ Devonshire. The linebacking unit is still strong with Bangally Kamara, Shayne Simon and Tyle Wiltz playing in this game.

QUICK LOOK AT UCLA

Offense

The good news for UCLA is that none of its starters has opted out of the Sun Bowl. Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 250 of 358 passes for 2,883 yards, 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions during the regular season. Thompson-Robinson also carried the ball 112 times for 631 yards and 11 touchdowns. Running back Zach Charbonnet leads the Bruins’ running game with 1,379 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns on 195 carries (7.0 yards per carry). Jake Robo leads all UCLA wide receivers in catches (54), receiving yards (789) and receiving touchdowns (7). UCLA’s offense is averaging 39.6 points per game, 246.3 rushing yards per game, and 261.5 passing yards per game. Antonio Mafi was one of the best offensive linemen in the Pac-12 conference.

Defense

The Bruins are also lucky on the defensive side of football. No one has decided not to play the Sun Bowl. Defensive lineman Laiatu Latu, defensive back Stephan Blaylock and linebacker Darius Muasau are two of the best players to watch on the Bruins defense. UCLA is allowing 28.3 points per game, 124.2 rushing yards per game and 275.7 passing yards per game. The big question is whether Nick Patti and the Pitt offense will be able to exploit this particular weakness in UCLA’s defense.

PREDICTION

UCLA is favored by seven points. It would have been a tough game for Pitt even if they weren’t lacking a good number of starters both on offense and defense. I’ll have to go with UCLA on this one.

Stay tuned to Panther247 for more information on the Pitt Panthers football team and recruiting.

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