In Coach Weaver's first season, the Red Raiders had won the Border Conference title, their fourth in five seasons. This was their first bowl appearance since 1949 and first Sun Bowl since 1948. The Tigers had been ranked three times during the season (as high as 16th at on point), but a loss to Denver started a four-game losing streak that derailed a 6-1 start. This was their first bowl appearance since 1948.
Jim Turner scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to give Tech an early 7-0 lead. Pacific responded with a touchdown of their onw to tie it at 7. Lewis Crossley culminated a six-play drive on his touchdown pass to Jerry Johnson from 19 yards out to make it 13-7. Junior Arterburn made it 19-7 on a five-yard touchdown run on Tech's next drive. Pacific scored on a Johnny Cobb touchdown run that culminated a nine-play drive to make it 19-14 at halftime. Charles Welton scored from 11 yards out to make it 25-14 midway through the third. From that point, neither team reached the red zone again. Eddie Macon became the first African American to play in the Sun Bowl, contributing with 60 yards on 6 carries.