VIDEO: UCLA DC Tom Bradley on preparing for Nebraska

UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley talked about the Bruins’ preparation for the Foster Farms Bowl on Saturday, and how to account for Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. — who has rushed for 1,029 yards and 12 touchdowns since 2014.

First look: UCLA vs. Nebraska in Foster Farms Bowl

UCLA's 36-30 win over Nebraska in 2012 marked the first big victory of Jim Mora's tenure. Joe Fauria (left) is pictured celebrating one of his two touchdown catches. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA’s 36-30 win over Nebraska in 2012 marked the first big victory of Jim Mora’s tenure. Joe Fauria (left) is pictured celebrating one of his two touchdown catches. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

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.

Key players:

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” »