Sun Bowl – UCLA Bruins vs Virginia Tech Hokies
Date and Time: Tuesday 12/31/13 at 2:00pm on ESPN
Game Line: UCLA -7.5 (from JustBet)
Tuesday’s Sun Bowl NCAA Football Analysis:
Jim Mora has UCLA on the cusp of its best season in eight years, and that’s precisely why the Bruins want him around for the long term. Frank Beamer’s tenure at Virginia Tech has yielded the longest active streak of bowl appearances for a coach. With Mora reaffirming his commitment to the Bruins, he’ll try to lead them to their first postseason win in four years on New Year’s Eve in their first meeting with Beamer and the Hokies in the Sun Bowl. UCLA is on the verge of winning 10 games for the first time since going 10-2 in 2005. That was also the last time it finished among the Top 25. He’s planning to remain in Los Angeles for a while. Mora signed a six-year contract extension in early December that UCLA may be hoping quells interest from high-profile programs with openings. Him choosing to stay could increase the chance of quarterback Brett Hundley returning next season. Hundley leads the Pac-12 with a 67.8 completion percentage, throwing for 2,845 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’s been picked off once while tossing eight scoring passes over the past five games. UCLA, though, has struggled to protect Hundley, who has been sacked 33 times, second-most in the conference. While Mora is just getting started at UCLA, Beamer is leading Virginia Tech into a 21st consecutive bowl game. That’s the longest active streak for a coach, while it’s second among active bowl runs by a team behind Florida State’s 32. Senior quarterback Logan Thomas is expected to be under center for his third straight bowl, but he’ll likely need to be better to give the Hokies a chance. He’s completed 34 of 67 passes for 407 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions over the first two. Edmunds leads Virginia Tech with 675 yards while averaging 4.1 per carry with 12 touchdowns, 10 rushing. He’s facing a UCLA defense that gave up an average of 193.6 rushing yards over its last seven games. This will be the reason Virginia Tech covers this spread.
UCLA vs Virginia Tech NCAA Football Picks: Virginia Tech +7.5 and under 46.5
UCLA vs Virginia Tech Game Prediction: 21-20 Virginia Tech
What to expect in the 2013 Sun Bowl: The Hokies know what they need to do to prepare for a bowl game and their teams recipe for success over the last twenty years in the regular season is exactly what you need to be successful in a bowl game. If they can run the ball effectively and play solid defense while making a special teams play or two you have a great chance to win, no matter who the opposition is and Frank Beamer’s teams have specialized in all three things since he became their coach.