14th Annual Cactus Bowl

Pittsburgh 38, Oregon State 13

14th annual cactus bowl
December 26, 2002

Attendance: 40,533

Stadium: Chase Field

Offensive Player of the Game: Brandon Miree, Pittsburgh

Defensive Player of the Game: Claude Harriott, Pittsburgh

Sportsmanship Award: Derek Anderson, Oregon State

Head Coaches: Walt Harris, Pittsburgh - Dennis Erickson, Oregon State

Weather: Roof Open (46 degrees)

Television: ESPN

Payout Per Team: $750,000

Pittsburgh and Oregon State entered the 14th Annual Cactus Bowl with two of the nation’s stingiest defenses. But it was the Panthers defense – and offense – that dominated the game to win convincingly, 38-13, at Chase Field.
 
The Panthers held Steven Jackson, the nation’s fourth leading rusher with 1,656 yards, to a season-low 34 yards on 19 carries. Overall, Oregon State gained just eight yards on the ground.
 
Offensively, Pittsburgh relied on the feet of Brandon Miree, who rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown, and the arm of Rod Rutherford, who completed 13-of-26 passes for 183 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown pass on a diving catch by Larry Fitzgerald.
 
With the scored tied 10-10, Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and held the Beavers to only three second half points. Tez Morris’ interception set up the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run by Rutherford.
 
Then Shawn Robinson took a punt 66 yards for a score to become the first Pittsburgh player to return a punt for a touchdown in the school’s 22 bowl appearances. Miree had a 7-yard touchdown run and Tyler Palko added an 8-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring.
 
Pittsburgh (9-4) won nine games in a season for the first time in 20 years and finished No. 19 in the final Associated Press poll.
 
Derek Anderson completed 21-of-44 passes for 318 yards for Oregon State. James Newson caught 10 passes for 165 yards for the Beavers, including a remarkable 65-yard touchdown play.
 
Jackson had gained fewer than 100 yards in just three games all season, but broke loose only once in the game, a 60-yard gain that was called back by a holding penalty.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Pittsburgh
7
3
14
14
38
Oregon State
7
3
3
0
13

Yardstick

PITT
OSU
21
First Downs
20
41-117
Rushes-Yards
32-8
183
Passing Yards
319
13-26-0
Passes
21-45-1
144
Return Yards
178
7-41.0
Punts
6-40.2
0-0
Fumbles-Lost
2-1
7-55
Penalties-Yards
9-90

How They Scored

PITT
OSU
7
0
Larry Fitzgerald 40-yard pass from Rod Rutherford (David Abdul kick)
7
7
James Newson 65-yard pass from Derek Anderson (Kirk Yliniemi kick)
7
10
Kirk Yliniemi 50-yard field goal
10
10
David Abdul 45-yard field goal
17
10
Rod Rutherford 1-yard run (David Abdul kick)
24
10
Shawn Robinson 66-yard punt return (David Abdul kick)
24
13
Kirk Yliniemi 31-yard field goal
31
13
Brandon Miree 7-yard run (David Abdul kick)
38
13
Tyler Palko 8-yard run (David Abdul kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
PITT
Brandon Miree 20-113, Lousaka Polite 3-11, Tyler Palko 1-8, Jawan Walker 2-2, TEAM 2-(-1), Tim Murphy 1-(-2), Rod Rutherford 12-(-14).
OSU
Steven Jackson 19-34, Dwight Wright 7-22, Derek Anderson 6-(-48).
Passing
PITT
Rod Rutherford 13-26-0-183.
OSU
Derek Anderson 21-45-1-319.
Receiving
PITT
Larry Fitzgerald 5-88, Lamar Slade 3-36, Brandon Miree 2-35, Marcus Furman 2-17, Kris Wilson 1-7.
OSU
James Newson 10-165, Tim Euhus 3-72, Cole Clasen 2-29, Shawn Kintner 2-25, Steven Jackson 2-14, Kenny Farley 2-14.