|1978 Garden State Bowl|
|Date||December 16, 1978|
|Location||East Rutherford, New Jersey|
|MVP||WR John Mistler (Arizona State)|
The 1978 Garden State Bowl, part of the 1978 bowl game season, took place on December 16, 1978, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The competing teams were the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, which competed as a football independent, and the Arizona State Sun Devils, representing the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10). In the inaugural edition of the Garden State Bowl, Arizona State came-from-behind to defeat Rutgers 34–18.
This was the seventh bowl game of the decade for Arizona State, who had finished 3rd in the Pacific-10 Conference. Rutgers began their season with a loss to #3 Penn State 20-17. They did not lost another game for two months, winning nine straight games against teams in the area (such as Bucknell, Connecticut, and Columbia). They lost their final game to Colgate at home, but the Scarlet Knights were still invited to their first ever bowl game, played in New Jersey, the same state the team played in.
John Mistler caught 7 passes for 148 yards in an MVP effort as the Sun Devils pulled away in the second half. 
Rutgers was not invited to another bowl game until 2005, which coincidentally was against the Sun Devils. Arizona State did not reach a bowl game again until 1983.