UCLA in Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

UCLA will face Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl December 31st, and it could also be re-named the Coaching Search Bowl...

UCLA and Illinois will face off in the Coaching Search Classic.

Here's UCLA's Official Release:

The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl has extended an invitation to the UCLA Bruins to participate in the 2011 edition of that game, scheduled to be played on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 12:30 (PT). The Bruins (6-7) will face Big 10 team Illinois (6-6) New Year's Eve.

UCLA is 6-5 all-time against the Illini and have won the past four meetings (last win came in 2004, 35-17). The series between the two schools dates back to 1946. This will be the fourth bowl meeting between the two schools as they previously faced off in the 1947 Rose Bowl, 1984 Rose Bowl and 1991 Hancock Bowl.

"We're thrilled to bring UCLA back to San Francisco," said Executive Director of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Gary Cavalli. "The Bruins played in our 2006 game against Florida State, and we had a great experience with Dan Guerrero and the entire UCLA family. That 2006 game was a classic matchup of two premier programs that had never met before on the gridiron. It was also our first sellout, and we anticipate another big crowd at AT&T Park on New Year's Eve."

The game marks UCLA's 30th bowl appearance in a game, and the Bruins have a previous postseason record of 14-15-1. The Bruins will be making their second-ever bowl appearance in San Francisco; they were Emerald Bowl participants in 2006, and fell to Florida State, 44-27. UCLA's last bowl game was in 2009 at the EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C. where they defeated Temple 30-21.

"We both appreciate and accept the invitation to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl," said UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero. "Not only will our 18 seniors have the chance to end their collegiate careers on a high note, but both our entire team and our travel party will have the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of one of America's greatest cities."

The Bruins will be led by interim head coach Mike Johnson, who takes over after UCLA opted to dismiss fourth-year head coach Rick Neuheisel after the Pac-12 Championship game.

"On behalf of the UCLA coaching staff and players, I want to express our excitement over being offered an opportunity to continue our season in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl," said Johnson.""The next few weeks will offer all of us associated with the Bruin football team an opportunity to grow, both individually and collectively, as we prepare for the challenge on the field that is ahead of us. I am very familiar with the Bay Area and know all of us will enjoy our trip and the opportunity to compete again in a bowl game."

Information on ticket availability to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Game will be available by Tuesday, Dec. 6 on UCLABruins.com.

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