UCLA Bruins (8-4, 5-4) vs. Nebraska (5-7, 3-5)
Kickoff: Saturday, Dec. 26, 6:15 p.m., Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara)
TV: ESPN (Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore, Shelley Smith)
Radio: AM 570 (Bill Roth, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Scouting report: Nebraska is one of three 5-7 teams to make a bowl game, due to the shortage of six-win teams available to fill 80 spots. The Cornhuskers had the highest APR of the available five-win teams in the country, which served as the tiebreaker. … However, Nebraska lost its first five games by a combined 13 points, falling behind in four in the final minute. If a few plays had broken differently, this could easily be a more respectable seven-win team. The Huskers also handed Michigan State its only loss of the year. … The matchup will pit Jim Mora against Mike Riley for just the second time. The former Oregon State coach handed Mora his first college loss in 2012. … Riley has had a rough first season at Nebraska, prompting athletic director to release a statement in early November assuring fans of “a bright future.”
Series history: The all-time series is tied at 6-6, but UCLA has won the two most recent meetings. The Bruins swept a home-and-home series, starting with a 36-30 home win in 2012 that helped jump-start excitement about the Mora era. The team’s 41-21 comeback on the road the following year followed the death of receiver Nick Pasquale, whom Cornhusker fans helped honor before kickoff.
QB Tommy Armstrong, Jr., 6-1, 220 — 210/383, 2,856 yards, 21 TD, 16 INT
— The dual-threat quarterback’s rushing numbers are down significantly in Riley’s pro-style offense, from 705 yards in 2014 to 324 this year. Continue reading “First look: UCLA vs. Nebraska in Foster Farms Bowl” »