By the numbers: UCLA a 7-point Sun Bowl favorite

No. 17 UCLA opened as a seven-point favorite over Virginia Tech in the 80th Hyundai Sun Bowl. We’re still three weeks out from the 11 a.m. PT New Year’s Eve kickoff, but here are some other (semi-)relevant numbers:

50 — Points scored by UCLA in its 2005 Sun Bowl appearance, which capped the program’s last 10-win season. The win over Northwestern marked the Bruins’ highest scoring output in any postseason appearance. It also set a Sun Bowl record, one broken two years later by Oregon’s 56-21 win over South Florida.

136 — Rushing yards that day by then-freshman Kahlil Bell, a breakout performance that saw him score two touchdowns and clear seven carries for the first time. Bell only ran for triple-digit yards four more times at UCLA.

42.99Cost of a Helen of Troy Professional Ceramic Hair Dryer. A similar model is included in the Sun Bowl’s gift package, which also contains a Majestic fleece pullover and gift suite.

550 — Worth (in dollars) of presents that bowls are allowed to give each participant, under NCAA rules. Each player may also receive an additional $400 worth of gifts from his school, and $400 of gifts from the conference for postseason play.

27 — Seasons Frank Beamer, 67, has coached at Virginia Tech. No active coach in the FBS has a longer tenure at his school.

266 — Wins Beamer has over his 33-year career, also first among active FBS head coaches. All but 42 of those wins came with the Hokies.

4.34 — Yards per play allowed this season by Virginia Tech, second-best in the ACC behind No. 1 Florida State’s 3.95.

5.06 — Yards per play gained by Virginia Tech, third-worst in the ACC ahead of Virginia and Wake Forest.

10,267 — Career offensive yards by quarterback Logan Thomas, the most in Virginia Tech history. He also owns the career touchdown pass record (53) and completion record (690).

17 — Career starts in which Thomas has completed fewer than 55 percent of his passes. In the last three seasons, the senior has failed to connect on at least half his passes in eight different games — the worst of which was a 5-of-26 effort against Alabama on Aug. 31.

0 — Number of Hokies on the All-ACC first team. Virginia Tech also failed to land any offensive players on the second or third teams, though it had three defenders on both. Punter A.J. Hughes was a second-team selection.

8.3 — UCLA’s yards per pass attempt this season, which ranks No. 22 nationally. The Hokies have faced one opponent with a better average: Alabama (8.5). The Crimson Tide passed for a season-low 110 yards against Virginia Tech.

3 — National ranking of the Hokies’ pass defense, which allows just 165.8 yards per game and has 19 interceptions against 10 touchdowns surrendered.

4 — Games missed by all-conference cornerback Kyle Fuller due to a groin and “core muscle” injury. The Bednarik and Jim Thorpe semifinalist was hurt during a bye week in mid-October, and had surgery three weeks ago, and is questionable to play in the Sun Bowl. Virginia Tech has lost three games without the senior.

5 — The ACC’s placement in ESPN Stats and Info’s latest conference power rankings.

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  • TrojanFan

    Testing, testing, 123!

    • jameskatt

      Looks like you’ve lost your way. Take off the red shirt! Go Bruins!

  • EncinitasBruin

    Will be fairly close at half-time (14-7), but then the Bruins will break away (35-17).

  • Bruin 34

    28-10 UCLA!

  • Mark

    Better win this one

    • jameskatt

      The players need to drink two black cups of coffee before starting the game so that their heads will be in it. I wouldn’t like a repeat of last year’s Holiday Bowl, the previous years of bowl losses, or this years ASU game. Living in Westwood makes it easy for the players to start games soft. Hopefully Mora can whip them up for the game. But it is really up to each player to take responsibility for their own readiness to play. Drink black coffee and go for the throat, Bruins!

  • BruinTax

    A good defense, which VTech has, almost always keeps a team close in a bowl game. No way I would lay 7 points (unless it was Lame Kitten or Sark’s money)! I would have preferred we drew Miami U. I think we’ll win, but VT will play us tough and keep it closer than we’d like.

    • 92104bruinfan

      Mora also needs to address any potential special teams flaws as well since ST play has been VTech’s calling card in years past. Thomas is a tight end sized QB who has a great arm and is a load to bring down once he tucks and runs. Most Hokie folks thought he was going to be all-everything when he took the reins at QB but he has never been able to put it together consistently over the last couple of years. Anyhow, hopefully the Bruins can jump the Turkeys early and be done with it. Go Bruins!