Dec. 2, 2012
The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl has extended an invitation to the UCLA Bruins to participate in the 35th edition of the game, scheduled to be played on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. This will be UCLA's first appearance in the Holiday Bowl game which will be televised live on ESPN at 6:45 p.m. (PT).
The Bruins (9-4, Pac-12 Conference South Division Champions) will face Big 12 team Baylor (7-5, tied for fifth in Big 12). It will be the first meeting on the gridiron between the two schools. Baylor, the national leader in total offense (578.75 yards per game), closed the season with wins in its last three games over then-No.1 Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
"I know I speak for the coaching staff and our players when I say that the UCLA Football team is very excited to continue our 2012 season in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl," said Bruins head coach Jim Mora. "We have accomplished some good things this season, and are looking forward to playing one last time together as a team."
The game marks UCLA's 32nd overall bowl appearance. The Bruins have a previous record of 14-16-1 in postseason play. UCLA made its first bowl game appearance in the 1943 Rose Bowl Game and saw action in last season's 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The Bruins have played in a bowl game in eight of the previous 10 seasons (not 2010, 2008).
The offense is led by senior running back Johnathan Franklin, who is ranked ninth in the nation in rushing, and redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley. Franklin, who became the school's all-time leading rusher earlier this season, has carried the ball 268 times for 1,700 yards and 13 touchdowns and has 32 receptions for 319 yards. Hundley, meanwhile, has completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns (2nd on the all-time school list), and has been intercepted just 11 times. In addition, he has run for 365 yards and nine scores.
A pair of linebackers, redshirt sophomore Eric Kendricks and junior Anthony Barr, head the UCLA defense. Kendricks is fifth in the FBS with 137 tackles and registered 10 or more tackles in eight games this season, including a season-high 17 in a 45-43 win at Arizona State. Barr, meanwhile, is first in the nation in sacks (13.5) and has 20.5 total tackles for loss, along with four forced fumbles and two blocked kicks.
For further information on UCLA and the Holiday Bowl, please visit our Bowl Central page at http://www.uclabruins.com/bowlcentral.