It wasn’t that easy early on, though, for UCLA, which led 14-7 at the half. Hundley had six carries for 168 yards in the half. He set the Sun Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback by halftime, even though he lost 7 yards in the second to finish at 161.
The Bruins rushed for 202 yards in the first half — the most rushing yards the Hokies have given up this season. UCLA finished with 250 yards.
The win in the first meeting between the teams allowed UCLA to post its first 10-win season since 2005, and helped the Bruins forget last season’s 49-26 loss to Baylor in the Holiday Bowl.
Virginia Tech had its second-worst loss in a bowl game. Its worst was a 42-3 loss to North Carolina in the 1998 Gator Bowl. The 42 points the Hokies allowed were the second-most in a bowl game behind the 52 they gave up in a 52-49 loss to California in the 2003 Insight Bowl.
While the Hokies, making their 21st consecutive bowl appearance, were able to limit UCLA’s running backs to 49 yards, they had no answer for Hundley, who repeatedly gouged them for big gainers on designed quarterback counters.
“UCLA made the plays it had to and you have to give them credit,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. “I was disappointed that we didn’t execute better.
“When we recovered the fumble down 14-7, I had hoped we could have punched it in for a touchdown, but we had to settle for three and then UCLA comes back and scores to make it 21-10. That was huge. I thought about going for it on fourth down but we just wanted to get something on the board.”