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Home | Tag Archives: arizona state

Tag Archives: arizona state

Sun Devils, Seminoles set to battle in 86th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

The sun will scoot its way to high noon on the final day of 2019 and foot will meet ball and, for the 86th time, they will play some exciting college football in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

Arizona State brings a 7-5 record into the old bowl and Florida State comes in at 6-6.

A football season can pivot on a play or two – a mistake here or a special play there — and each of these teams were a play or two away from having an even better season.

CBS is televising this game for the 52nd year and it should be a fun, high scoring affair for the national audience. Florida State averaged 29.1 points a game and Arizona State put up an average of 25.2 points an outing.

Teams reflect the persona of their coach and each of these teams has an interesting persona at the helm.

Arizona State is led by Herm Edwards, the colorful, dynamic, energy-overloaded former NFL player and coach. Edwards, a beacon for anything positive, is an outstanding speaker and motivator.

The 65-year-old Edwards is in his second season as the Sun Devils head coach and has already put his imprint on the program with 14 wins. Edwards brought quite a resume to the desert southwest, playing 10 years in the NFL and serving as head coach for both the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.

Edwards left his footprint forever in the NFL landscape with one of the league’s most iconic and memorable plays – the Miracle at the Meadowlands. Edwards, a defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, scooped up a final second fumble by New York Giant quarterback Joe Pisarcik, returned it for a touchdown, snatching victory from certain defeat.

Edwards is also well known for his nine-year tenure as an entertaining analyst for ESPN.

Florid State coach Odell Haggins may be only an interim head coach but, in many ways, he casts a giant footprint for Florida State football. He was an outstanding interior lineman for the Seminoles and, after three years in the NFL, returned to the Seminole coaching staff.

Haggins, the associate head coach and defensive line coach, will return next season for his 27th season at Florida State, making him the longest tenured assistant coach in the nation.

Highlighted on an HBO 24/7 special this season, Edwards said, “When you are a coach, you’ve got to have fun. I think your team takes on your personality and this is a kid’s game.”

Haggins said, ‘We are excited about coming to El Paso and we will come there and play hard and have fun.”

Each of these football teams – mirroring their coaches – will indeed play with fun, play as if their hair were on fire and play with passion. That formula should lead to some special football on the final day of this year.

Arizona State is led by highly touted freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels. The 6-foot-3, four-star recruit out of California completed 193-of-310 passes for 2,748 yards and 17 touchdowns against just two interceptions.

“It was important not to put too much on his plate” Edwards said. “But he’s got some special traits. He missed the USC game (with an injury) so it was good for him to come in and go 7-4 as a freshman.”

Daniels led the Sun Devils to a road victory at Michigan State and then erased Oregon’s national title hopes with a clutch fourth quarter drive.

“The moments aren’t too big for him,” Edwards said.

Each of these teams has a 1,000-yard running back. Arizona State brings Eno Benjamin to the dance with his 1,083 yards and 10 touchdowns. Benjamin also caught 42 passes for 347 yards and a couple of touchdowns.

Florida State has Cam Akers, who ran for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Akers caught 30 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns.

The Arizona State defense will offer resistance, especially against the run. The Sun Devils gave up just 116.8 yards per game rushing, 21st best in the nation against the run.  Darien Butler led Arizona State with 79 tackles, five for a loss. He also had a sack and forced three fumbles. Jermaine Lole had 68 tackles, 8.5 for a loss and had five sacks. Khaylon Thomas had 11 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks.

The Seminoles are led defensively by a pair of large and talented defensive tackles. Marvin Wilson, an All-ACC defensive tackle and a Bednarik Award semifinalist is 6-5 and 311-pounds and All-ACC counterpart Demarcus Christmas is 6-4 and 302-pounds.

The running backs will have their road blocks but will also likely have their moments but an aerial display should be the swipe the show at this 86th duel in the Sun.

Brandon Aiyuk was eighth in the nation for the Sun Devils, catching 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. Terry Tamorrion leads the Seminoles with 51 catches for 1,023 yards and eight touchdowns.

Each of these teams was a heartbeat away from better days but a heartbeat away from heartbreak as well.

Arizona State played eight teams that were bowl eligible and went 4-1 against ranked teams. The Sun Devils were ranked 18th in the nation at one point, starting with a 5-1 record. They then hit a series of speed bumps – losing at nationally ranked Utah, losing at UCLA then dropping a 31-26 decision to USC (without Daniels) and falling 35-34 at Oregon State.

But they rebounded with two big victories, dropping Oregon title hopes 31-28 and then beating rival Arizona 24-14.

“We went through a spurt in the third quarter of the season when we didn’t understand the importance of the little things and we didn’t handle our success very well,” Edwards said. “We were able to win our last two. The lull we went through … it was interesting to see if we could find our way out of it.”

The Sun Devils did that and they are here, ready for this high noon fiesta in the sun.

Florida State had a bit of a roller coaster ride and the result was Haggins taking over the interim head coaching duties for the final four games. The Seminoles had a trio of “what if” losses to three good football teams – falling 36-31 to Boise State, 31-24 to Virginia and 22-20 to Wake Forest.

But Haggins brought the Seminoles home and to this moment in the Sun.

“We stayed together as a family at the end,” Haggins said. “The kids fought together. The coaches stayed together. We are Florida State. We have a great brand. We can do this together but we can’t do this by ourselves.

And so these two storied programs have negotiated the journey that is a football season and are here, ready for one more special opportunity – ready to play one more football game in 2019, ready to play in a bowl game, ready for a special duel on CBS in this 86th annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

Author: Bill Knight on behalf of the Sun Bowl Association

Video+Gallery+Quotes: FSU, ASU coordinators share thoughts on Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl preps

Saturday morning, the offensive and defensive coordinators from Arizona State and Florida State attended a press conference, sharing their thoughts on the upcoming game and answering a few questions.

The 86th Annual Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl is set for Tuesday, December 31 at 12 p.m. (MT) in Sun Bowl Stadium.

Arizona State Co-Offensive Coordinator Shaun Aguano

Opening Statement:

Thank you for having us here and we’re excited. Our guys have been off for almost a month and now we’re getting back to practice, so we’re excited. Just being from Arizona State, it’s been awesome this week so we’re excited.

Highlights from his week in El Paso so far:

The hospitality has been incredible and out practice has been good. We’re looking at out second practice today and trying to refine everything that we’re doing.

Regarding Eno Benjamin not playing in the game and how his possible replacements look:

They look fantastic. It’s their chance to shine now. Eno took about 90% of the reps this season, but those guys are ready and it’s nice for them to step up, so we’re excited about that.

How has your job changed in the past couple of weeks?

We’ve been out recruiting so Coach Christensen has done the majority of the work back at the office, but just making sure we collaborate together in anything that he needs from the offensive side and getting ready to prepare for this game. So, it hasn’t changed much, we’re just excited to play.

Is there an advantage to playing in similar weather than back home in Arizona?

I think so, it’s our home field, we’re closer than Florida State. Our kids have been practicing outdoors, the weather is exactly the same and so it won’t be uncomfortable for our guys.

On Florida State’s Defense:

Of course, Florida State has always been very athletic and they don’t make mistakes, so we’re going to have to play our best game and not turn over the ball to be successful.

Arizona State Co-Offensive Coordinator Dave Christensen

Opening Statement:

Well it’s certainly a pleasure to be here and this is my third opportunity calling plays in the Sun Bowl. It’s been a great experience with the exception of not winning those two other games, but the hospitality is second to none. Obviously traditionally this is a great venue, I know our staff, our players are excited to be here and we’re really looking forward to playing this game.

Regarding new Title Sponsor, Tony the Tiger:

Yea, I think they’re GR-R-REAT! But I haven’t had any Frosted Flakes yet, but no it’s been fantastic to see Tony the Tiger everywhere. Again, you guys have done a fantastic job here. They take care of all of our needs, the entertainment’s been great, the hospitality, players are well taken care of. Like I said, it is second to none, I’ve been to a lot of bowl games in my 38-year career and have been treated well here each and every time.

How has your job changed in the past couple of weeks?

It’s not uncharted territory, I was an offensive coordinator for 16 years, so I’ve been in this position a number of times. Obviously, game planning, most of our staff is out. Got guys on the road and a couple of us back home so you get back in the mode of game planning again, writing scripts, drawing up practice plans and cards, just putting together a game plan. I was coaching offensive line and mainly focused on the run game and preparation for this game, obviously I had to come up with a game plan.

Regarding the two Freshman Offensive Linemen LaDarius Henderson and Dohnovan West and how far they’ve come since the beginning of the season:

It’s interesting you ask me that because LaDarius hit me up the other day and said he had a growth spurt and now he’s 6’5’’. Not only is he 6’5’’ he’s not 17 anymore, so now I got an 18-year-old left tackle. He’s grown an inch in the season but he and Dohnovan have done a fantastic job as true freshman. We’ve talked a number of times in 38 years of coaching I’ve never started two true freshmen in my entire career. I’ve started one freshman in 38 years and this year I’ve started two all season. They’ve done a fantastic job getting better each game and they’re continuing to get better and stronger but they’re still freshman.

Arizona State Defensive Coordinator Tony White

Opening Statement:

I know everybody says this, but it really is an honor to be back home, got a chance to see so many people being back, family, friends, people who have helped me out all my career. I told the guys I remember walking off that bus seeing the dancers and singers in 2000 as a player and came back one time when UCLA played here against Northwestern, and now I get a chance to coach it. This game means a lot both personally and as well calling it for the first time against a great Florida State program, a lot of tradition, a lot of great athletes over there. I think it’s going to be a great game as Mr. Olivas said and we’re looking forward to going out there and playing hard.

How has your job changed in the past couple of weeks?

Things changed a lot. I’m totally opposite of Coach Christensen, this is his first time calling it so he knows a lot. But being with Coach Edwards and Coach Lewis and then having all that NFL presence around I think it’s been a pretty eye-opening experience for me. I think we got a great staff, a lot of great football minds.

On missing players this game:

It really comes down to fundamentals, focusing on what you want to do, having your identity and making sure players play fast and execute. Again, with all guys not playing, coaching changes on both sides, you just want to make sure the players feel comfortable in the game plan.

Florida State Defensive Coordinator Harlon Barnett

Coach they are obviously missing a running back (Eno Benjamin) and receiver (Brandon Aiyuk) how does that if at all change what you guys do?

Change what we do, I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but we thank God for that, cause those two guys are really good football players. Number two and number three, they’re really good football players for them and you know, they’ll make their adjustments just like everybody else does when you have an injury or guys not playing or what have you, but as far as us adjusting any differently, yeah we don’t have to be concerned about those two guys so we’re going to stick with our plan.

Stanford Samuels III having declared did that catch you a little by surprise and how does that shuffle the depth chart at corner?

Well a place like Florida State you’re not really surprised about a guy after three years declaring and things like that, so wish him nothing but the best and told him that and if he needs me for anything, he can always call me. As far as changing around what we’re going to do we got some guys opportunity, it’s an opportunity now for a guy like Isaiah Bolden or a guy like Akeem Dent, A.J. Lytton, those type of guys to step out there and play some corner for us and do a good job and we believe they will.

What’s the scouting report on Arizona States offense?

Quarterback is good man, for a freshman, true freshman, he’s very poised, understands the offense, does a good job of running their offense, they believe in what their system tells them to do and they’ve got a deep threat in 84 (Frank Darby) at wide receiver, number 10 (Kyle Williams) is another good receiver for them. They’re a good team, offensive line works well together, so we got to go in there prepared, our guys know this and we’ll be ready to go, we’ll be ready to go, hopefully we’ll play the best game of the year, our best game of the year.”

How have the players responded to all the uncertainty in the last few weeks?

They’ve been great, believe it or not man, they’ve been great, like everything is normal, but even though they know it’s not truly normal. They’ve responded to us extremely well, they’re going out there working hard and I wish them nothing but the best. The reason why I’m even in this is because of the players and I, that’s what I truly believe and so I’m giving them everything I got, I told them that and they know that all the way till the very end. That’s why I’m in business and when you do it that way and not because of any other then you gonna be alright and they’re gonna come out and play very well for us on Tuesday, I truly believe that.

Cory Durden a guy you think you’ll have available on Tuesday?

I think so, yessir.

Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and we bring you his view of the conference via this gallery.

Wolfpack Run Over Sun Devils In Record-Setting Fashion To Win Sun Bowl 52-31

Not one, not two, but three rushing touchdowns for North Carolina State’s running back Nyheim Hines in the first half proved to be the difference for the Wolfpack as they defeated Arizona State 52-31 in the 84th Hyundai Sun Bowl.

The Wolfpack controlled the game from the start, forcing a fumble on the second play from scrimmage and turnovers proved to be costly for the Sun Devils as quarterback Manny Wilkins was intercepted three times to swing momentum back to the Wolfpack just when it seemed they were creeping back into the contest.

Hines’ three scores earned him game MVP honors accounting for half of the the rushing touchdowns for the Wolfpack on the day setting a new Sun Bowl record of six.

“This is all due to the offensive line, they did a great job blocking, we’ve had two thousand-yard rushers the past two years so this is a testament to all the offensive linemen,” Hines said. “It’s an honor (to win MVP) it’s really humbling, I didn’t think things like this were possible when I was younger.”

The Sun Devils looked to be gaining momentum after trailing 21-3 late in the second quarter, cutting the Wolfpack lead 21-10, but a failed onside kick gave the ball back to NC State with just over two minutes on the clock.

The Wolfpack took advantage as quarterback Ryan Finley hit Jakobi Meyers on a flat route who then broke a tackle for a 25-yard touchdown to take a 28-10 lead with one minute left in the half.

A muffed punt by Hines in the third quarter gave ASU life who trailed by 21 at that point. The Sun Devils gave it right back after quarterback, Manny Wilkins threw the ball into double coverage to be intercepted by Jarius Morehead for a touch back ending any momentum for ASU.

“I don’t think we turned the ball over four times in one game all year, I don’t think we turned it over twice in one game and that was the difference in the game,” ASU head coach, Todd Graham said. “We have to give them a lot of credit, they’re a very good football team. They came out and we just couldn’t stop them, I don’t think they punted the ball at all in the first half. You have to play better defense than that to have a chance.”

Graham, was fired hours after defeating in-state rival, Arizona, to become bowl eligible and was still tasked to coach the Sun Devils in the Sun Bowl.

Former NFL head coach and ESPN commentator, Herm Edwards, is replacing Graham as their head man.

“It’s very uncomfortable and it’s hard not to have emotion,” Graham said. “I’m going to coach until they throw dirt on my head, I’m going to be a football coach. This has been, for my wife and I, a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s great for them to be here, my son Michael was with us, there was a lot of tears but really no sadness, I’ve go a full heart.”

The Wolfpack controlled nearly every facet of the game, from their record-setting six rushing touchdowns, forcing four turnovers and time of possession, holding the ball for just over 32 minutes.

“We were dominating the line of scrimmage, running the ball, catching it, throwing it,” NC State head coach, Dave Doeren , said. “I just think we got hot and finished drives, guys really started fast, got a takeaway and did some really good things.”

Doeren congratulated players and coaches on the field after the game, but suddenly stopped to dance with his wife.

“They were playing Marty Robbins’ El Paso, great song. Had to dance that one,” Doeren said.


Despite the comeback attempts, the Wolfpack kept countering with scores of their own and applying pressure to Wilkins all game long as linebacker, Airius Moore, intercepted Wilkins with just under one minute left to play to seal the win for the Wolfpack.

“We showed that we’re a great defense, (Bradley) Chubb is a great player, but the guys that filled his spot stepped up so that’s big for us it just shows that we’re a complete team,” Moore said. “It felt good (getting the interception), I’m a senior, I wish I didn’t take that knee but that’s just how it happened.”

Chubb elected to not play in the bowl game as he prepares for the NFL and is projected to be a top 10 draft pick.

“This team is a great team with or without me, I knew that from the get go…this team didn’t need me to play, they have so many great players,” Chubb said. “That’s why I didn’t come out and say it publicly that I wasn’t playing, because I didn’t want the focus to be on me. This is a great team that got us to the Sun Bowl and I’m happy for them.”

El Paso Herald-Post Complete coverage continues:

Monster’s Musings: El Paso Shines with Sun Bowl Game

Story in Many Pics: 84th Annual Sun Bowl

Story in Many Pics: 84th Annual Sun Bowl

Under skies that CBS Sports called ‘Chamber of Commerce-Perfect Weather,’  the Arizona State Sun Devils and the North Carolina State Wolfpack took to the field in the 84th Annual Sun Bowl.

It was also the 50th consecutive year the bowl game as been carried by CBS Sports.  In the end, the Wolfpack downed the Sun Devils 52 to 31.

Our very own Chief Photographer Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

To view our complete coverage, click below

Monster’s Musings: El Paso Shines with Sun Bowl Game

Wolfpack Run Over Sun Devils In Record-Setting Fashion To Win Sun Bowl 52-31

Monster’s Musings: El Paso Shines with Sun Bowl Game

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in front of 39,897 fans, the 84th annual Hyundai Sun Bowl took place between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Arizona State Sun Devils.

As it turned out, the Sun Devils were no match for the Wolfpack as NC State easily won the game by a score of 52-31

Once again the Hyundai Sun Bowl proved that it is the signature sporting event for the city of El Paso. This is the one event that truly showcases the greatness of El Paso. It starts as soon as the teams arrive in the city and it continues up to the kickoff of the game. And for the fans visiting the city to support their teams, they are treated to a number of great events from the Fan Fiesta that features the battle of the bands to the free tailgate party on top of south parking garage on game day.

84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl between North Carolina State Wolfpack vs Arizona State Sun Devils, Sun Bowl Stadium, December 29, 2017

Speaking of the visiting fans, they really had a good time here in the Sun City. Whether it was seeing some of the historic sites in town or eating some great authentic Mexican food, everyone seemed to enjoy it. One fan told me the game was “the icing on the cake.”

And that’s what the Sun Bowl feels like…a big party. And that’s what it should be. This should be the one event of the year that El Pasoans let their hair down and go have a good time at a football game because we all know that they’re not getting that at a UTEP game.

This is what a big time college football game feels like.

As I was walking the sidelines I couldn’t help but notice how the fans were into the game. They were cheering or yelling on almost every play.

Yes, the game itself might have not been competitive but at least both teams scored some

84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl between North Carolina State Wolfpack vs Arizona State Sun Devils, Sun Bowl Stadium, December 29, 2017

points. I think you’d agree with me that I’d rather see a high scoring game than a low scoring defense game. Let’s leave the low scoring games for the college playoffs. People come to bowl games to see points being scored, and that’s what they got today.

As for the game, the Wolfpack dominated most of the game, even though the Sun Devils tried to make a comeback in the 4th quarter but in reality this game was over by halftime as the Wolfpack was up 28-10. The NC State offense was too much for ASU to handle as they rushed for 177 yards, passed for over 300 yards and had almost 500 yards of total offense. ASU had 469 yards of total offensive themselves but most of those yards came well after the game was already out of hand.

I’m sure some ASU fans left sad because of the final score, but I’m pretty sure that overall they’re happy with their experience here in El Paso. As for the NC State fans, I’m sure they’re gonna continue to celebrate all the way back home.

Let’s talk about the weather, It’s called the Sun Bowl for a reason folks, And today’s game was a great representation of that as the high was 70 degrees with no clouds in sight; not only is the weather great, but it also looks great on TV. It is no wonder CBS has televised the game nationally for over 50 years now.

I will always say that the Sun Bowl is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world. I don’t know of that many stadiums that are in the middle of a mountain and that makes the Sun Bowl as unique as El Paso is, and today they both shined bright.

El Paso Herald-Post Complete coverage continues:

Story in Many Pics: 84th Annual Sun Bowl

Wolfpack Run Over Sun Devils In Record-Setting Fashion To Win Sun Bowl 52-31

Video+Story in Many Pics: Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta

Cheerleaders, bands, and fans took over the convention center Thursday for the annual Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta.

The fun started at noon, as cheerleaders from both teams welcomed visitors to the Sun Bowl Coaches news conference.

Andres Acosta was there as the Sun Devils and the Wolfpack cheered, marched and fired up their faithful fans, and brings you his view of the fun in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

Parade of band at the fan fiesta for the Hyundai Sun Bowl

Posted by El Paso Herald-Post on Thursday, 28 December 2017

Posted by El Paso Herald-Post on Thursday, 28 December 2017

Posted by El Paso Herald-Post on Thursday, 28 December 2017

Take two of the Parade of the bands for the Hyundai Sun bowl

Posted by El Paso Herald-Post on Thursday, 28 December 2017

Story in Many Pics: Arizona State, NC State Players Visit Fort Bliss

Members of the Wolfpack and the Sun Devils again took a time out from practicing on Wednesday and visited Fort Bliss.

Players met with soldiers and received a first-hand look at the weapons and the environment that the troops operate in every day.

Our very own Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the visit in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

Story In Many Pics: Sun Bowl Teams Visit Local Hospital

Players and Staff from both Arizona State and NC State, as well as the Sun Bowl Court, made their way to Providence Children’s Hospital Wednesday, visiting patients and bringing smiles to the faces of everyone.

Our very own Andres Acosta was there and brings you his views of the visit in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

Fans Invited to Sign Up for Fifth Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl Golf Challenge

Fans looking for some fun in the sun while visiting El Paso for the 84 Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl are invited to play with other college football fans and El Paso natives in the 2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl Fan Golf Challenge.

The challenge, scheduled for Wednesday, December 27 at Vista Hills Country Club, will feature representatives (Fans) from NC State and Arizona State University pitted against each other in an 18 Hole Two-Person-Scramble Match Play Format.

“It’s always great to see the fans and the locals having a great time out on the course,” said Executive Director of the Hyundai Sun Bowl Bernie Olivas.  “The volunteers and organizers of this event do a great job and the turnout last year was tremendous.”

The winning university will be determined by the number of matches a university wins.  Two-person teams will be formed from each university, and they will go head-to-head against a two-person team from the other university.

You can sign-up as a two-person team or you can sign-up as an individual, and we will place you on a team.  You also have the option of playing with an El Pasoan who knows the golf course.

This event is open to all fans.

Teams must be entered and paid in full not later than noon on Monday, Dec.25, 2017.

CHECK-IN – 9:00 to 10:30 AM

BURRITO BAR – 9:00 to 10:30 AM

WARM-UP / FREE RANGE BALLS – 9:00 to 10:30 AM





Previous Results: 2013 (VT 9 – UCLA 9); 2014 (ASU 10 – Duke 8); 2015 (WSU 12.5 – Miami 8.5); 2016 (UNC 12.5 – Stanford 7.5)

Entry Fee:  Seventy-five dollars ($75) per person includes Green Fee, Cart, Range Balls, Prizes, Goodie Bag, Burrito Bar and Awards Dinner.  VHCC Golf Members ($55). Golf Club Set Rental is an additional $10 (Be sure to indicate a need at Sign-Up).

You can sponsor a Wounded Warrior or Soldier for $100.

Questions:  Terry Jennings or Danny Lopez at 915-592-6565.  Course Information:  915-592-6565 or  Special Hyundai Sun Bowl Golf Rates with cart Dec. 18-30 ($20 plus tax).

Show your Hyundai Sun Bowl Ticket at the Pro Shop during Check-In.  Schedule your Tee Times (915-592-6565).

Former LCPD Officer Turned Country Music Singer to Perform at Sun Bowl Halftime

The Sun Bowl Association and Hyundai of El Paso have announced that Las Cruces police officer turned country singer, Frank Ray, is scheduled to perform during halftime of the 2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl on Friday, December 29.

Frank Ray, from Las Cruces, will perform at halftime of the match-up between Arizona State and NC State. He was recently featured in Rolling Stone magazine in an article titled “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: December 2017.”

“It’s great to have another regional up-and-coming star from the Borderland region,” said Executive Director of the Hyundai Sun Bowl Bernie Olivas. “Mr. Ray also has a great story as he was a police officer in Las Cruces, N.M.”

The Hyundai Sun Bowl is featuring a Borderland-halftime performer for the second year in a row after Elia Esparza and Khaliya Kimberlie performed in 2016.  In 2014 Lone Star performed in front of more than 47,000 fans.  The Andress High School Band, out of El Paso, teamed-up with the UCLA and Virginia Tech bands, to put on a show in 2013, as Three Dog Night performed at the 2013 Fan Fiesta.

Lee Bryce worked the crowd of about 48,000 fans in 2012 and the Sun Bowl Association is expecting at least that many fans to support Frank Ray this year. Other notable halftime performances include the Village People in 2008 and Rhianna in 2006.

Ray released his first solo EP Different Kind of Country earlier this year. A Hispanic-American, Ray sings about the Hispanic experience in the United States. The lead single from his EP “Every Time You Run” is currently 20th on the Texas Regional Radio Report.

“It’s an absolute honor to get to end the year in front of such a massive crowd. It gives me an opportunity to represent my community but also serves as a symbol of continued success for my team and my family,” said Frank Ray. “I’m humbled to have been given the opportunity by the great representatives of the Sun Bowl.”

Ray plays shows from Albuquerque, N.M. to Austin, Texas. He has appeared in both El Paso and Las Cruces as well.

The 2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl game will be played Friday, Dec. 29, at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) at Sun Bowl Stadium.

The 2017 game will mark the 84th anniversary of the Sun Bowl game and the 50th consecutive broadcast on CBS. This year’s game features No. 24 NC State out of the ACC and Arizona State from the Pac-12.

Tickets are available by calling the Sun Bowl Association office at 915-533-4416.

Find out more about Ray through his social media outlets: Website, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud, and Instagram: @frankraymusic

Nationally Ranked NC State to Face Arizona State in 84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl

The Sun Bowl Association and Hyundai of El Paso have announced that No. 24 North Carolina State University will take on Arizona State University in the 84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl.

The game is scheduled for Friday, December 29 at 1 p.m. (MT) at Sun Bowl Stadium.

NC State comes into the game 8-4 on the year finishing the regular season ranked No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff Rankings while its opponent out of the Pac-12, Arizona State, is heading to El Paso for the second time in four years after finishing with a 7-5 overall record and a 6-3 conference record.

“We feel this matchup will make for another great game here at the Hyundai Sun Bowl,” Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association Bernie Olivas said. “We cannot wait for the teams to arrive here to the Borderland so that we can show them a great time.  As we have seen in the past, teams that come to the Sun Bowl normally have future professional players on the team and we are ecstatic that they will get to perform in front of the best football fans around.”

NC State will be making its fourth consecutive bowl appearance, all under head coach Dave Doeren. In Doeren’s seven-year stint as a head coach, he has advanced to the postseason six times. The Wolfpack finished 6-2 in the ACC, tying the most conference wins in a single season all-time at NC State.

ASU will play in its 30th bowl game overall and the team’s sixth bowl appearance in the last seven seasons. It will be the Sun Devils’ sixth appearance in the Sun Bowl. This marks the third meeting between ASU and NC State, and the Sun Devils hold an 8-10 record all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Sun Devils last faced the Wolfpack in 1974, a 35-14 loss in Tempe, while defeating NC State at home in a 25-22 effort during the 1960 season.

“The buzz is there at Arizona State and at the end of the day all of this is about the kids and about football,” said ASU graduate and football selection committee chairman John Folmer said,  “We want to make sure that the team, the coaches and the families all have a great time when they are in El Paso.”

Tickets for the 84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl are on sale through Ticketmaster and the Sun Bowl Association office. The 2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl is set for Friday, Dec. 29 in Sun Bowl Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 1 p.m. (MT).

All information for the game can be viewed online through the link available at Customers and fans can also call the Sun Bowl Association office (915-533-4416) and are also invited to stop by the Sun Bowl Association office located at 4150 Pinnacle Street, Suite 100 in El Paso to purchase tickets.

Appearances in Sun Bowl

North Carolina State (0-0)



Arizona State (3-1-1)

Tie vs. Catholic, 0-0 (Jan. 1, 1940)

Loss vs. Western Reserve, 26-13 (Jan. 1, 1941)

Win vs. Iowa, 17-7 (Dec. 31, 1997)

Win vs. Purdue, 27-23 (Dec. 31, 2004)

Win vs. Duke, 36-31 (Dec. 27, 2014)


About the universities

North Carolina State

Location: Raleigh, N.C.

Enrollment: 34,015

Founded: 1887

Nickname: Wolf Pack

School Colors: Red (PMS-186) and White

Stadium (capacity): Wayne Day Family Field (57,600)

Surface: Natural Grass

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Chancellor: Dr. Randy Woodson

Athletic Director: Deborah A. Yow

Previous Bowl Appearance: 2016 Independence Bowl


Arizona State

Location: Tempe, Ariz.

Founded: 1885

Nickname: Sun Devils

Colors: Maroon and Gold

Enrollment: 82,000

Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium (67,704 capacity)

Conference: Pacific-12

President: Dr. Michael Crow

Athletic Director: Ray Anderson

Previous Bowl Appearance: 2015 Cactus Bowl

Gallery by Andres Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post

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