Posted: 8:01 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
By Casey Richey
Well that was anti-climactic.
The early speculation was that Virginia Tech would travel to El Paso to play a PAC-12 opponent in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. That speculation was right as the Hokies are (reported) to face the UCLA Bruins on December 31 at 2 p.m. E.T.
UCLA went 9-3 on the season with all three losses coming to ranked teams. UCLA started out 5-0, including a 41-21 win over then-No. 23 Nebraska. The Bruins fell in back-to-back games against No. 13 Stanford (the PAC-12 champs) and No. 3 Oregon. After falling to Oregon, the Bruins ripped off three wins against Colorado, Arizona and Washington before dropping a game to No. 17 Arizona State. After the loss to Arizona State, UCLA took a 35-14 win over cross-city rivals USC.
The Bruins have a very talented dual-threat quarterback in Brett Hundley. Hundley has thrown for 2,845 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also led the Bruins in rushing with 587 yards and nine touchdowns on 150 carries.
UCLA has one of the more of the more interesting players in Myles Jack. Jack is a freshman linebacker that has seen time on offense as a short-yardage back. Jack has seven touchdowns and 267 yards on 37 carries for the Bruins.
Shaq Evans is the top receiver for UCLA and presents an interesting challenge for the Tech defense. Evans has eight touchdowns and 617 yards on 43 receptions. Evans is a good route runner with a lot of strength. He's not overly big at 6'2, but he should present a good challenge to Kendall Fuller/Brandon Facyson/Whoever else is healthy.
UCLA has a pretty decent defense as well, allowing 24.1 points per game in a offense-heavy PAC-12. Jack was named the PAC-12 Defensive Rookie of the year, so there's that too. Anthony Barr is their top defender at the OLB position opposite of Jack and is expected to be a top draft pick.
Stay tuned because we'll certainly have more information previewing the match-up. Drop your comments below on the match-up.