EL PASO, Texas — Virginia Tech and UCLA have accepted bids to meet for the first time in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.
Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) played its first postseason game in the 1947 Sun Bowl, losing to Cincinnati. This will be the Hokies’ 21st consecutive bowl appearance under coach Frank Beamer.
“We are extremely excited to be coming to the Sun Bowl,” Beamer said. “All my conversations with people who have been there have been extremely positive, and it is my understanding that the Sun Bowl people do an excellent job with their hospitality. It’s great for our kids and fans to be able to visit a different part of the country. The Sun Bowl was our first bowl in 1947, and it’s time to get back.”
No. 17 UCLA (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) will be making its fourth appearance in the Sun Bowl. The Bruins came from behind to beat Northwestern 50-38 in their last appearance in El Paso, in 2005.
“These are the kind of games that you get excited about,” Bruins coach Jim Mora said. “We get to go for our 10th win of the season against a tremendous ACC opponent in Virginia Tech. This is the kind of opportunity that our players and coaching staff live for, and we can’t wait to play this game.”
The Hokies are led by Logan Thomas, who has completed 57 percent of his passes for 2,861 yards and 16 touchdowns.
UCLA’s Myles Jack is the Pac-12’s freshman of the year on both offense and defense after starring at linebacker and as a running back.
“Both schools have rich football traditions, outstanding coaches and passionate fan bases,” Sun Bowl Association president Walker Crowson said. “Coach Jim Mora has reestablished UCLA as a power in the Pac-12 and Coach Frank Beamer always has Virginia Tech in a position to compete for championships in the ACC. We think this will be one of the most competitive and attractive games in our long and proud history.”