Brett! Brett! Come back!
A call by UCLA Coach Jim Mora?
Pleas by Bruins football fans?
Not this time.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns in his first six carries to launch the Bruins, and he got his passing arm loose late to help turn the game into a rout.
Now we’ll have to see if the redshirt sophomore’s next move is to blast off to the NFL.
Hundley’s decision is key to UCLA’s immediate future.
Asked whether his performance Tuesday made his decision harder or easier, he answered “harder” in a television interview immediately after the game.
Hundley started slow as a passer, completing only seven of 17 passes for 73 yards in the first half. UCLA still led, though, 14-7, on two Hundley touchdown runs. The first came from seven yards out; the second from 86 -- the longest scoring run in UCLA bowl history.
Indeed, Hundley made Virginia Tech’s aggressive defense pay at every turn. Each time the Hokies managed to flush the quarterback from the pocket, he gained huge chunks of yardage.
So Virginia Tech backed off the rush –- and Hundley made the Hokies pay with his arm, completing nine of 10 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the second half before being removed late in the game.
What Hundley meant to UCLA’s offense, senior linebacker Jordan Zumwalt was to the Bruins’ defense.
Zumwalt made 10 tackles, including four solo, and intercepted a pass and returned it 43 yards in the fourth quarter.
Of Zumwalt’s tackles, most came on big hits -- the biggest, no doubt, being one that knocked Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas from the game in the second quarter.
Thomas, who is 6-feet-6 and 260 pounds, gained 50 yards in his first three carries.
Backup Mark Leal completed 12 of 25 passes for 130 yards but had two passes intercepted. Zumwalt had one and the other was made by freshman linebacker Myles Jack, who returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.
UCLA improved to 10-3 with the win, securing the Bruins’ first 10-win season since 2005.
Virginia Tech fell to 8-5.