“The Hyundai Sun Bowl is noted for its history, tremendous hospitality and how well it treats the game’s participants year-in and year-out,” said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. “Every time UCLA has traveled to El Paso the experience has been first class all the way, and we’re excited to be a part of one of the oldest traditions in college football history.”
The Bruins (9-3), who closed the year with wins in four of their final five regular season contests, will face Virginia Tech (8-4) from the Atlantic Coast Conference. It will be the first meeting on the gridiron between the two programs. The Hokies feature one of the nation’s stingiest defenses and are ranked third in the nation in fewest yards allowed per game (269.6). Tech surrenders 17.4 points per game, the eighth-best mark in the nation, and has given up 13 points or less in six games. It leads the ACC in rushing defense (103.8 yds/g), total defense, sacks (3.08/g) and 3rd down conversion defense (29.5).
“UCLA Football is honored to be a participant in the Hyundai Sun Bowl’s 80th Anniversary game,” said UCLA head football coach Jim Mora. “These are the kind of games that you get excited about. We get to play on New Year’s Eve in a historic bowl game in front of a national audience on CBS. We get to go for our 10th win of the season against a tremendous ACC opponent in Virginia Tech. This is the kind of opportunity that our players and coaching staff live for, and we can’t wait to play this game.”
The Bruins, whose first bowl experience came in the 1943 Rose Bowl Game, will be making their 33rd overall bowl appearance and fourth in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Posting a 2-1 mark in their previous three visits to El Paso, most recently, the Bruins defeated Northwestern 50-38 in the 2005 edition of the game. Over the past decade-plus, UCLA has participated in a bowl game in nine of the last 11 seasons.
The UCLA offense is led by quarterback Brett Hundley, who is ranked among the nation’s top 25 in passing efficiency (153.7), passing touchdowns (22), total offense (286.0/g) and completion percentage (.678). On defense, linebacker Anthony Barr is a finalist for four major awards this year – Rotary Lombardi, Butkus, Bednarik, Lott IMPACT. He is ranked among the nation’s top 15 in sacks (0.8/g), tackles for loss (1.7 /g), fumbles forced (0.42/g) and fumbles recovered (0.33/g).
For ticket and other information on UCLA and the Sun Bowl, please visit UCLA's Sun Bowl Central Page.
UCLA fans unable to attend the game can still support the Bruins as well as pay it forward by purchasing Military Donation tickets that will be given to active military. Every $40 donation enables UCLA to “Salute a Soldier” and provide a serviceman or woman with a complimentary ticket to the game.
Additionally, thanks to the donations of several generous Wooden Athletic Fund members (James Brown, Americo Cascella, Ignacio Cubero, Ken and Ana Floyd, Dan and Jerri Floyd, Ken and Aly Graiwer, Dick and Tricia Grey, Marcia Howard, Andy and Shannon Meyers, Bill and Carol Ouchi, Tony and Jeanne Pritzker, Billy and Stacy Ray, Ned and Ann Ryder), the first 200 students who order will receive a FREE Sun Bowl ticket (limit of one per student and must be picked up on game day at the Sun Bowl with your Student ID).