The UCLA Bruins (9-3) will travel to El Paso in order to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4) in the Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve.
Jim Mora and his explosive offense will surely be tested by a staunch Hokies defense. Virginia Tech has allowed only 17.4 points per game this year. Head coach Frank Beamer is also the architect of "Beamer Ball," and thus, the Bruins have to be cognizant of the potential fireworks on special teams.
This is a significant game for Mora's program. A victory against Virginia Tech would give the Bruins their first 10-win season since 2005.
Here are three things UCLA fans need to see in the Sun Bowl.
Having a strong end to the year could act as springboard to 2014 for Brett Hundley.
Virginia Tech has one of the better defenses that Hundley will have faced in 2013. It's a fundamentally sound defense with the capabilities to create turnovers.
Performing well against a quality defense is something UCLA's signal-caller can build upon for the future. Should he stay in school, the 2014 season is potentially setting up to be considerably special. UCLA returns the bulk of its roster. With a favorable regular season, a BCS bowl appearance isn't out of the realm of possibilities.
We don't need to see brilliance from Myles Jack in this game.
However, it'd be a lot of fun to see Jack perform at a high clip. It'd be even more fun to see him throw a touchdown pass. He's accomplished virtually every other feat on the football field this season.
Jack was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection as a true freshman. He was also named as the Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year.
From UCLA's perspective, it'd be nice for Jack to display some of his immense on New Year's Eve in front of a national audience.
A win would be huge for the program.
As mentioned earlier, UCLA hasn't had a season with at least 10 victories since 2005. A win would offer great momentum for next year.
Virginia Tech is a very respectable program with great tradition. A victory over a quality opponent would also help the Bruins from a recruiting and national standpoint.
UCLA is 4-10 in its past 14 bowl games. In the same vein, the Bruins have won only four bowl games since 1994. If anything, a win would also help the underwhelming win-loss record from the past 20 years.