Things are going to be different for
And that doesn't just mean the sombrero that
UCLA was off to the
So there will be changes to how the Bruins approach their game against
"We want to put ourselves in a position to win," Mora said. "We're still formulating our practice schedule, but as we go through how we're going to install things and what's the point of emphasis, we're going to think carefully on last year."
One thing that should help is momentum. UCLA went into the Holiday Bowl on a two-game losing streak, and had missed out on a spot in the
This season, UCLA is fresh off a 35-14 whipping of rival
"That was my first bowl experience since I was a player at
The Bruins, who are 9-3, will have a chance to win a 10th game for the first time since the 2005 season.
"Getting that 10th win is really important to these guys, especially the seniors," Mora said. "That would be the cherry on top for their careers. It would be an accomplishment, showing the program is moving forward."
The Bruins got that 10th win in 2005 by beating Northwestern, 50-38, in the Sun Bowl. UCLA lost to Wisconsin, 21-20, in the 2000 Sun Bowl and beat Illinois, 6-3, in El Paso in 1991.
This will be the first meeting between UCLA and Virginia Tech.
"I've seen them throughout the year and know they were having a great season," said Virginia Tech Coach
Twice in a lifetime
This is the second time that Virginia Tech has played in the Sun Bowl. The Hokies, in what was their first bowl game, lost to Cincinnati, 18-6, in the Sun Bowl on
Beamer was born Oct. 18, 1946, nearly three months before that game.
"I've always wanted to get back to the Sun Bowl," he said.
Don't' need a weatherman
UCLA will begin practice for the bowl game Saturday. The team went through a light workout this past Saturday, though the weather — 50 degrees and rainy — apparently was not in the brochure during Brett Hundley's recruiting visits.
Joked Hundley: "They pitched 80 degrees and a summer breeze every time I was here. We got this."
UCLA players have finals this week.
The game ball from UCLA's victory over USC was last seen secured in the arms of Hundley as he ran off the field. It doesn't appear that he will be giving it back.
"That ball is already home in
Linebacker Anthony Barr was named the winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy as the nation's top defensive player.
Barr is the first UCLA player to win the award. He leads the Bruins with 20 tackles for losses. He also has 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and 62 total tackles.