Virginia Tech Facts and Factors

It's the first match-up ever between the UCLA and Virginia Tech football programs. VT is led by future Hall of Fame coach Frank Beamer, who is known for his "Beamer Ball"...

• UCLA travels to El Paso, Texas, to take on Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 31st. The game kicks off at 11:00 a.m. PST, and will be televised by CBS. Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson will call the action.

• UCLA is ranked #17 and #18 in the AP Poll and USA Today Coaches Poll, with a 9-3 record, and 6-3 in the Pac-12.

• The Hokies are 8-4, and were 5-3 in the ACC, which tied them for second in the Coastal division of the conference.

• UCLA and Virginia Tech have never played each other in football. UCLA's all-time record against the ACC is 17-14, with its last game against an ACC opponent in the 2006 Emerald Bowl when the Bruins lost to Florida State.

• UCLA and Virginia Tech have only played each other in one sport, softball, in 2008 and last season, with the record being 1-1.

• VT's biggest win of the season was perhaps on the road against then-#14 Miami, 42-14. It played #1-ranked Alabama in its first game of the season and lost (35-10), but then didn't play another ranked team besides Miami all season, and Miami isn't currently ranked. Virginia Tech's non-c onference wins were against FCS Western Carolina, East Carolina, and Marshall. Its five conference wins came against teams with a combined record of 29-30.

• It's UCLA's fourth appearance in the El Paso bowl, with a 2-1 Sun Bowl record. It's the 80th Sun Bowl, dating back to 1902.

• Virginia Tech is 0-3 all-time against teams currently in the Pac-12, having lost once each to USC, Cal and Stanford.

• It will be VT's second appearance in the Sun Bowl, but its first in 67 years. The Hokies appeared in the 1947 Sun Bowl, which was actually the school's first ever bowl game.

• With his win over USC, Jim Mora has 18 wins in his first two seasons as head coach, a school record for the most ever during the first two seasons as a Bruin head coach.

• If UCLA beats the Hokies, the 19 wins over the last two years will be the most by any coach in a two-year span in UCLA history.

• It's the first time since 1998 UCLA has put together consecutive seasons with at least nine wins.

• If UCLA beats Virginia Tech it will be its first 10-win season since 2005.

• It would be UCLA's first bowl win since 2009 (30-21 over Temple in the Eagle Bank Bowl).

• Virginia Tech is coached by Frank Beamer, considered one of the elite long-time head coaches in college football. Beamer (59), who has been the VT head coach since 1987, is 224-108-2 all time, which makes him the winningest active coach in the FBS. The Sun Bowl will be VT's 21st consecutive bowl game under Beamer, which is the longest active streak for a coach. He led the Hokies through a greatly successful stretch in the late ‘90s to the mid 2000s, when he won seven Big East and ACC titles. It was marked by the 1999 season when Beamer took an undefeated Hokies team to the Sugar Bowl, and then lost to Florida State and missed his best chance at a national championship. The last two seasons Beamer's teams have dipped a bit, going 15-10, being the only two seasons in which VT will finish unranked in the last 21 years in Blacksburg. His style of play is known as Beamer Ball, which emphasizes all phases of the game and generating points on special teams and defense. Since Beamer's first season in 1987, a player at every position on the defensive unit has scored at least one touchdown and 35 different players have scored touchdowns on VT's special teams.

• A "Hokie" is a meaningless noise created for a contest by VT cheerleader in the 1800s. For some unknown reason, in the intervening years, Virginia Tech has started to use a turkey as the mascot, referring to the mascot as a Hokie Turkey.

• UCLA's Anthony Barr, winner of the Lott Impact Trophy, was a consensus All-American, being ranked 4th in the nation in TFLs (1.7/game); 2nd in forced fumbles (.42/game); 5th in fumbles recovered (0.33) and 13th in sacks (0.8).

• Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA's junior offensive lineman, was also named to some All-American teams. As BRO reported, the feeling is that Su'a-Filo is leaning toward forgoing his senior season and putting his name in the NFL Draft.

• Freshman Myles Jack was named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive and Offensive Player of the Year, the first time one player had received both honors since the award began in 1987.

• Senior wide receiver Shaquelle Evans has caught at least one pass in the last 27 games.

• Quarterback Brett Hundley leads the team in rushing with 587 yards. He also leads the Pac-12 in completion percentage (67.8).

• Under Jim Mora, UCLA is 14-3 when scoring first and 16-0 when leading at halftime.

• The 2013 season marks the first time UCLA since 1998 has opened a season ranked by the AP and remained so throughout the season.

• UCLA established a school record this season by playing 18 true freshmen.

• UCLA is favored by 7 points.

• The weather forecast calls for a high of 60 degrees on Dec. 31st in El Paso, and clear skies.

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