The 83rd annual Hyundai Sun Bowl between 16th ranked Stanford and North Carolina turned out to be a classic as the Cardinal won the game 25-23 on Friday afternoon in front of 42,166 fans.  Stanford star running back Christian McCaffrey was absent for the Cardinal due to the fact that he did not want to risk injury in preparation for the up coming NFL draft, but his backup Bryce Love played exceptionally well in relief by carrying the ball 21 times for 119 yards, and caught a 49 yard TD pass in the first quarter.

Stanford also dealt with a first quarter knee injury to their QB Keller Chryst shortly after his spectacular TD toss to Love.  Backup QB Ryan Burns replaced Chryst and struggled in doing so by finishing 6-of-11 for 86 yards.  The Cardinal won this game because of their defense though as safety Dallas Lloyd intercepted UNC QB Mitch Trubisky twice, including the go ahead pick 6 score in the fourth quarter to put Stanford up 22-17.  Trubisky, a top NFL prospect, had thrown only 4 interceptions all season long coming into the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

Following a Cardinal field goal, North Carolina made one final furious rally at the end of the game as Trubisky found WR Bug Howard for a 2 yard touchdown reception on a ten play 97 yard drive, but he was sacked on a two-point conversion attempt by Solomon Thomas, and the Cardinal held on for the victory.  Stanford has now won three consecutive bowl games for the first time in program history, and ended their 2016 campaign with a six game winning streak, and a 10-3 record.

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw attended the 2016 Hyundai Sun Bowl.  Their daughter Maggie McGraw is a cheerleader for the Cardinal. (Photo by Brandon Cohn)

North Carolina finished their season by losing three of their final four games, and despite key victories over Pitt, Florida State and Miami, concluded their campaign with an 8-5 record.