UCLA football: Bruins let the 2000 Sun Bowl slip away

Jermaine Lewis, Freddie Mitchell
UCLA tailback Jermaine Lewis, left, sits on the bench with his head in his hands next to wide receiver Freddie Mitchell following the Bruins’ 21-20 loss to Wisconsin in the 2000 Sun Bowl.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA started the new decade in the 2000 Sun Bowl by carrying on a ‘90s tradition -- losing to Wisconsin in a bowl game.

The Badgers beat the Bruins twice in the Rose Bowl, in the 1993 and 1998 seasons. In the 2000 Sun Bowl in El Paso, UCLA blew a 20-7 second-half lead and lost, 21-20.

The Bruins lost quarterback Cory Paus, who broke a collarbone during the game. They also failed on a fake field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter, setting up the Badgers’ game-winning touchdown.

UCLA Coach Bob Toledo never appeared in another bowl game with the Bruins. He was fired before the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl, with Ed Kezirian taking over as interim coach for the Bruins’ 27-13 victory over New Mexico.


It gave Kezirian the same number of bowl victories as a UCLA head coach as Toledo, Rick Neuheisel, Dick Vermeil and Tommy Prothro. It was one more than Red Sanders won as the Bruins’ coach.


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