Norman, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma and Stanford University have both accepted invitations to play in the 76th annual Brut Sun Bowl , announced Sun Bowl Association football committee chairman John H. Folmer. The game will pit the Sooners and the No. 19 Cardinal on Thursday, Dec. 31 at noon (MT) at Sun Bowl Stadium.
"We are excited to invite Stanford University, which has one of the hottest head coaches in the nation in Jim Harbaugh and one of the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy in Toby Gerhart," said Folmer. "On the other side, how can you ever go wrong with Oklahoma? Everybody in college football would die for an opportunity to have a dynamic head coach like Bob Stoops and Oklahoma play in their bowl game.
OU Bowl Tickets: Purchase Online or call (800) 456-GoOU or (405) 325-2424.
Tickets for the Oklahoma's Brut Sun Bowl matchup versus Stanford are on sale now. The cost of the tickets is $40 each. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and tickets are subject to availability.
If supplies last, tickets will also be available this week online at SoonerSports.com or by phone during regular business hours. The OU Athletics Ticket Office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Phone orders can be placed at (800) 456-GoOU or (405) 325-2424.
Oklahoma, as the Big 12 Conference representative, will be designated the visiting team. OU will wear its white road uniforms and will occupy the west side of Sun Bowl Stadium.
Stanford (8-4, 6-3 Pac-10) finished tied for second in the Pac-10 Conference and is the only school to beat league champion Oregon. This is Stanford's third appearance in El Paso, after winning the 1977 and 1996 Sun Bowls.
"Our players, coaches and staff are truly honored to accept the Sun Bowl Committee's invitation," said Harbaugh. "Stanford football is privileged to join the proud tradition of the Sun Bowl and the wonderful people of El Paso. We move forward with humble hearts, unwavering focus and relentless preparation."
Oklahoma (7-5, 5-3 Big 12) finished tied for third in the Big 12 Conference South Division after upending intrastate rival Oklahoma State, 27-0, in the annual Bedlam Game. This is Oklahoma's third appearance in the Sun Bowl, after winning the 1981 and 1993 Sun Bowls.
"We appreciate the invitation from the Brut Sun Bowl and are anxious to make the trip to El Paso. We look forward to a number of our fans being there as well," said Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. "In Stanford we are facing a fine program. Like many others, we have been impressed by the job Coach Harbaugh and his team have done this season and we understand the quality of the opponent we'll be facing."
The 2009 Brut Sun Bowl will mark the fifth time these two teams have meet, but the first time in 25 years. Oklahoma holds a 3-1 lead in the all-time series that spanned from 1978 to 1984.
"We are excited about the matchup and what it means to El Paso," said Bernie Olivas, executive director of the Sun Bowl Association. "Stanford has really caught the nation's attention and Oklahoma is one the nation's premier programs. This should make for an exciting matchup."
Stanford is led by senior running back Toby Gerhart, who leads the nation in total rushing yards with 1,736 yards and scoring with 26 rushing touchdowns. Gerhart is the ninth national rushing yardage leader to participate in the Brut Sun Bowl. Others include LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU), Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State), Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh), Bob Gaiters (New Mexico State), Pervis Atkins (New Mexico State), Jim Crawford (Wyoming), Fred Wendt (UTEP) and Rudy "Little Doc" Mobley (Hardin-Simmons).
Stanford's offense is averaging 441.4 yards per game, which ranks 13th nationally. The Cardinal offense is paced by freshman quarterback Andrew Luck, a native of Houston, who is averaging 244.1 yards per game of total offense. Luck's primary targets are Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu.
"Stanford University is very proud to be representing the Pacific-10 Conference in the Brut Sun Bowl," said Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby. "This bowl has a rich tradition and I have personally enjoyed several visits to El Paso and the Sun Bowl. We are very excited to be participating in the game with Oklahoma. Coach Stoops and his staff do an exceptional job with their football program and we look forward to the competition. I want to offer my congratulations to Coach Harbaugh, his staff and our football team, especially our seniors, on completing an excellent season. They have all worked hard and are truly deserving of playing in this prestigious bowl game."
Oklahoma is led by freshman quarterback Landry Jones, a native of Artesia, N.M., who is averaging 244.5 yards per game of total offense. The Sooners rank 28th nationally in total offense, averaging 419.4 yards per game. Oklahoma is paced on the ground by the running back tandem of DeMarco Murray (61.6 yards per game) and Chris Brown (58.6 yards per game). Ryan Broyles paces the Sooner receiving corps with 87.6 yards per game, while racking up 142.3 all-purpose yards an outing.
The Sooner defense ranks seventh nationally in total defense (273.5 yards), scoring defense (13.5 points) and rushing defense (88.58). Linebacker Travis Lewis has anchored the defense this year with 100 tackles, while Jeremy Beal has 11 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss this season.
"The Sun Bowl is a game rich in tradition and we appreciate the opportunity to play there. It is known for its first-class treatment of fans and teams. The renovated Sun Bowl Stadium is a scenic place to watch. The setting is picturesque and something our fans will enjoy," said Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione. "Stanford had an outstanding season and we appreciate the quality of their program."
Stanford will be making its 22nd bowl appearance and its first since 2001. The Cardinal are 9-10-1 (.452) in bowl games. This is Oklahoma's 43rd overall bowl appearance and 11th straight under Stoops. The Sooners are 24-17-1 (.600) in bowl games.
The 76th Annual Brut Sun Bowl is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 31 at noon (MST). CBS Sports will broadcast the game for the 42nd consecutive year, which is the longest running partnership between a network and a bowl game. Ticket prices for the game are $15, $20, $30, $40, $50 and $60.
Oklahoma Bowl Notes
Oklahoma is playing in its 43rd bowl game. That ranks No. 7 nationally. With 24 bowl victories, OU also ranks No. 7 nationally. The Sooners' bowl record is 24-17-1.
This is Oklahoma's 11th consecutive bowl season, a school record. The Sooners have played in a bowl in each of Bob Stoops' 11 seasons in Norman.
Oklahoma is in the Sun Bowl for the third time. The previous visits came in 1981 (40-14 win over Houston) and 1993 (41-10 win over Texas Tech).
Oklahoma is playing in a Texas-based bowl for the sixth time. In addition to the Sun Bowls, the 2001 team won the Cotton Bowl in Dallas over Arkansas, 10-3; the 1970 team tied Alabama in the Bluebonnet Bowl at Houston, 24-24, and the 1968 team dropped a 28-17 decision to SMU in the Bluebonnet Bowl.
This marks the first bowl meeting that pits Oklahoma against Stanford, but the two are not complete strangers. There have been four other meeting with OU holding a 3-1 advantage. The most recent meeting was in Norman in 1984 when the Cardinal prevailed, 19-7. The two teams have never played on a neutral field.
Oklahoma is 23-14-1 against teams currently holding membership in the Pac-10 Conference. The Sooners are 1-1 vs. Arizona, 0-1 vs. Arizona State, 2-2 vs. California, 6-1 vs. Oregon, 1-1 vs. Oregon State, 3-1 vs. Stanford, 2-6-1 vs. USC, 3-1 vs. UCLA, 2-1 vs. Washington and 3-0 vs. Washington State.
This will be the sixth time that Oklahoma has been pitted against a Pac-10 team in bowl action: 2005 Holiday Bowl (Oklahoma 17, Oregon 14), 2005 Orange Bowl/BCS Championship (USC 55, Oklahoma 14), 2003 Rose Bowl (Oklahoma 34, Washington State 14), 1985 Orange Bowl (Washington 28, Oklahoma 17), 1983 Fiesta Bowl (Arizona State 32, Oklahoma 21).
Oklahoma Running Backs Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Cale Gundy set a Sooner bowl game record (since tied) when he three touchdown passes in the 1993 Sun Bowl vs. Texas Tech. Fred Sims had the second-best rushing performance by an OU player in a bowl when he gained 181 yards in the 1981 Sun Bowl vs. Houston.
Gundy is one of two OU coaches who played in the Sun Bowl. The other is Jackie Shipp, who was a linebacker on the 1981 Sooner team that downed Houston.
Two members of this Oklahoma coaching staff coached in the Sun Bowl with other teams. Bobby Jack Wright, OU's assistant head coach, assistant defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, was on the 1994 Texas staff when the Longhorns knocked off North Carolina, 35-31. Sooner offensive line coach James Patton was on Northwestern's staff when the Wildcats dropped a 50-38 decision to UCLA in the 2005 game.
There are no Californians on the Oklahoma roster. Conversely, there are 47 Texans on the Sooner roster with a shot at playing in a bowl game in their home state. The lone Oklahoman on the Stanford roster is OL Chase Beeler (Jenks, Okla.), who was on the OU roster in 2006. He saw action in five games, including one start (against Tulsa) before transferring.
Oklahoma QB Landry Jones will be playing closer to home -- Artesia, NM -- than any other time in his college career. El Paso is 201 miles from Artesia. His previous closest brush with was in Lubbock, Texas, 343 miles from Artesia. Norman is 534 miles from Artesia.
Sherri Rogers, executive director of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the daughter of long-time Sun Bowl official Jimmy Rogers, Jr. Jimmy was president of the Sun Bowl Association in 1970-71 and is chairman emeritus of the football committee. He was inducted into the Legends of the Sun Bowl in 1999. The Sun Bowl's lineman of the game award is named in his honor.