UCLA BRUINS’ NEXT GAME:
Hyundai Sun Bowl
OPPONENT: Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4, 5-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference)
SITE: Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 31, 11:00 a.m PT
TV: KCBS Channel 2 (In the SoCal area)
Considering everything that UCLA’s football team has gone through this season, it’s been a great time to be a member of Bruin Nation these days.
And not just because they beat their crosstown rivals for the second straight year – in their house no less, and in a way that has convinced everyone that America’s second largest city belongs to the Bruins:
- Head coach Jim Mora, after begin courted by the Washington Huskies to return to his alma mater, signed a six-year extension to stay in Westwood with more pay and a larger budget to retain his assistants, which segues to this…
- Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, who has been a brilliant recruiter, spurned an offer to join the USC coaching staff, choosing to stay a Bruin.
- Linebacker Anthony Barr was named the winner of the Lott IMPACT Award, given to the nation’s best defensive player, which he well deserved as the senior led UCLA with 20 tackles for loss and ten sacks. He also forced five fumbles and recovered another four.
To say that Barr is very much poised to have a stellar career in the NFL with a very good chance of being drafted in the first round is certainly an understatement.
But first he, Brett Hundley, Myles Jack, and the rest of the 17th-ranked Bruins have a postseason game to get ready for and play as they will spend New Year’s Eve down in the West Texas town of El Paso, hard by the Rio Grande and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to take on Virginia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
This will be UCLA’s fourth time in El Paso, having beaten Illinois in 1991, losing to Wisconsin in 2000, and beating Northwestern in 2005.
Which earned then their tenth win, the last time the Bruins reached that number.
With their record sitting at 9-3, UCLA will be trying for that 10th win this time around against a Virginia Tech Hokie team from Blacksburg, led by longtime coach Frank Beamer, that had their moments this year in finishing second in the ACC’s Coastal Division but lost to Maryland, Boston College, and eventual division champion Duke to finish out of contention.
Known for their players entering the field at Lane Stadium to the strains of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” with the fans jumping up and down in the stands, Virginia Tech has had a strong defense this year, but has also had trouble on offense.
That will be discussed further in a more comprehensive preview of this Sun Bowl between these Bruins and Hokies, which will appear on this site on either December 26 or 27.