Hokies to face UCLA in Sun Bowl

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Virginia Tech will face #17 UCLA in the Hyundai Sun Bowl on December 31 in El Paso, TX.  This marks Tech’s 21st consecutive bowl appearance, the longest streak in the country.

The Sun Bowl invitation means the Hokies will be returning to the site of their first-ever bowl appearance. On January 1st, 1947 (the 1946 postseason) the Hokies received a bid to the Sun Bowl and lost to Cincinnati 18-6 in icy, cold conditions.

The Sun Bowl will be played in El Paso at 2pm (Eastern Time) on New Year’s Eve.  The game will be televised by CBS.  Virginia Tech finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, including a 5-3 mark in conference play.

The Hokies will be facing a UCLA program that has been rejuvenated by head coach Jim Mora, Jr.  The former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons went 9-5 at UCLA in his first season last year, and the won the Pac-12 South.  This year the Bruins went 9-3.  UCLA had not won more than seven games in their previous six seasons before Mora’s arrival.

UCLA suffered three losses this season to Stanford (24-10), Oregon (42-14) and Arizona State (38-33).  They beat USC 35-14 in their season finale.  Here’s a quick look at how UCLA stacks up in the national statistics…

Rushing offense: #38
Passing offense: #44
Total offense: #37
Scoring offense: #23
Pass efficiency: #16
Third downs: #12
Rushing defense: #73
Pass defense: #44
Total defense: #56
Scoring defense: #39
Pass eff. defense: #61
Third down defense: #43

The Bruins rank as high as #5 in the country in kickoff returns, and as low as #120 in penalties per game and #119 in penalty yards per game.

We’ll have much more on this matchup this week. For now, see our Links Page for related links, and for lots of great information on El Paso, see this message board post.


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25 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Unfortunately for a 2PM EST or noon RMT KO, I will most likely be on the slopes in CO. Even being a season tkt holder some things take precedence. There is a good chance I will nip into a snack shack on the slope to check out the game and I will probably be wearing one of my VT jerseys. And with it wrapping up around 3PM RMT I should see the last hour getting off the slope around 2PM (ski from around ~9-2 non-stop and then for liquid pain killer). Can’t they move the KO 2 hours??
    GO HOKIES BEAT da bruins!!!

  2. Here is a piece of trivia. The Sun Bowl was the Hokies first bowl, 1947. We lost to Cincinnati 18 to 7. The game was played in the snow, we led in the first half, they scored three tds in the second half and we blocked all three PAT. I’ll bet nobody remembers that game! I don’t either.

    1. yo Sonny here’an Ole Hokie who remembers that game, I was a student at Tech then. There were just a few bowl games in those days so it was a big deal, all on radio. We had a big tackle named Greek Maskas who was really good at blocking kicks, but the team’s record that year was 3-3-3 (ties counted then). Coach was Jimmy Kitts who came to Tech from Texas and had “connections” which helped with the Selection Committee. Team enjoyed the bowl activities which included a visit to a bull fight across the border into Mexico, but they cheered for the bull against the matador which didn’t play well with the locals, but they got out of there unharmed!

  3. I like the match-up simply because we get a shot at PAC12 team which is a rare opportunity! No one will be giving Hokies a chance and perhaps being the underdog will take pressure off us. If we lose, no big deal as season will just be remembered as very average rebuilding year. If we win, good press for beating a ranked team and takes some focus off of Frank’s lousy bowl/big game record and nice intro for Spring Ball! Go Hokies!

  4. Is the first paragraph supposed to say the second longest streak? I always thought FSU and Florida were ahead of VT and of course Florid’s is gone now but obviously FSU is still going… can someone clarify for me?

        1. Nc2a.

          You know and I know FSU has the longest streak, but it’s not officially the longest. VT is.

          1. Sounds good to me! I’m excited about the game seems like a lot of people are complaining about. I think its great that it’s in a new city instead of the same old.

  5. How is Orlando cheaper? Also, not all Hokie attendees live in SWVA. It’s much simpler for me to hop a flight to ATL than to go t Blacksburg from here in DC, for example. I get that flying is more expensive – but that doesn’t mean that everyone ‘normally’ drives to bowl games. Also, don’t forget our western and Texas Hokies…plenty of them will make what is for them, an easy trip. I remember the Diamond Nut bolw a few years ago – I flew out, made a trip out of it to one of the best cities to visit int the world. Had waaaay more fun there than boring Charlotte (sorry, it is = hotels, bars, and the game, that’s it) and overdone Atlanta (get that w/GT every other year). AND…had plenty of west coast Hokies cheering us on. Now as for UCLA…well…that’s a tougher nut; I hope we are healthy and can bring whatever A game we have left.

  6. El Paso, is an awesome place from what my military brethren tell me. Not sure were this bad location came from. I like the variety, Charlotte and Atlanta every time is boring. If ain’t the BCS Title or Orange might as well change it up.

  7. Maybe we can pull up an upset like we did in 1995 vs Texas!! NOBODY on this planet gave us any chance of beating Texas but we did it. Seriously, we need this win to elevate the program. We lose this one and it will just add to Franks losing bowl record… Winning this one will be a huge confidence builder I get shudders just imagining about it whew…

    1. Another reason to go somewhere else. Would be easier w got lot of injuries. I hope we win but gonna be tough

  8. Why is this bowl more expensive for you? Because you have to fly and you drive to other bowl locations?

    1. Have u looked at rates. If u have a family that gets expensive. If were nc wound be different. Nothing in el paso much more to do in fla or even Charlotte. In fla u got better weather. El paso in my opinion is bad location

  9. As for us little people, this game absolutely sucks. No way can the average Tech fan spend $2000 to go to this game. Too bad. I so wanted the team to go to the Russel Athletic Bowl. Oh well. I wont be missed I’m sure.

  10. One of only two bowls broadcast by a non-ESPN network. If you hate the death star,make sure every TV is tuned to CBS at gsme time.

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