Cameron Scarlett scored on a 1-yard run and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a second score to lead Stanford to a 14-13 victory against Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl on Monday.
The Cardinal (9-4) finished on a four-game winning streak, much the same way they did two years ago when Stanford won the Sun Bowl for a season-ending six-game streak.
The Panthers (7-7) lost their fourth straight bowl game and sixth in the past seven after falling to playoff championship finalist Clemson in the ACC title game. The past three losses have been in four years in under coach Pat Narduzzi.
Pitt, which had a 10-7 halftime lead and was up 13-7 early in the fourth quarter, was led by tailback Darrin Hall, who had 16 carries for 123 yards and a score.
Stanford’s offense, which had struggled all day, finally got going in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinal were 0 for 8 on third downs before K.J. Costello hit JJ Arcega-Whiteside for a 12-yard completion. A 49-yard pass to Arcega-Whiteside followed, and Scarlett recovered Costello’s fumble for the go-ahead score on the next play with 11:28 left.
Scarlett had 91 yards on 21 carries in place of tailback Bryce Love, who decided to skip the bowl game to rehab an ankle injury ahead of the NFL draft. Love was the second Stanford back to do that in the past three Sun Bowls.
In 2016, Christian McCaffrey skip the game, was drafted eighth overall by Carolina and just finished sixth in the NFL in rushing in his second season.
Stanford: Arcega-Whiteside entered the game needing one touchdown catch to break the school season record of 14 he shared with Hall of Famer James Lofton. But the senior was limited to three catches without a TD. Still, the Cardinal won for the first time this season without forcing a turnover. Stanford had been 0-4 in such games.
Pittsburgh: The game was the final one for the 1-2 rushing punch of Qadree Ollison and Hall, the first duo in program history with at least 1,000 yards apiece in a season. Ollison, who was injured in the first half and didn’t return, had 1,213 yards. Hall finished with 1,144 yards.
Stanford: The Cardinal have been able to reload each year under head coach David Shaw, who is 82-26 overall (55-17 Pac-12). Shaw has never won less than eight games in a season, and his Cardinal have played in four Pac-12 title games (3-1). Stanford opens at home against Northwestern on Aug. 31.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers are coming off their first ACC Coastal Division title under Narduzzi, who with 28 wins is second in program history to Jackie Sherrill (39). Pitt will open against an ACC opponent to be determined, probably on Aug. 31.
Source: The Associated Press