Virginia Tech and UCLA have accepted invitations to meet on Tuesday, Dec. 31, for the 80th edition of the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, announced Sun Bowl Association Football Committee Chairman John Folmer.
“We could not be more excited to have UCLA and Virginia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bow,” said Walker Crowson, Sun Bowl Association President. “Both schools have rich football traditions, outstanding coaches and passionate fan bases. Coach Jim Mora has re-established 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, and one befitting the 80th Hyundai Sun Bowl. We look forward to hosting the Bruins and Hokies, along with their fans and alumni, and providing them with our renowned Sun Bowl hospitality.”
The 2013 Hyundai Sun Bowl will mark the first meeting between the two teams.
Virginia Tech, 8-4 and 5-3 (ACC), returns to the foundation of their 26-bowl game history. The Hokies’ first bowl appearance was in the 1947 Sun Bowl. Cincinnati defeated Virginia Tech 18-6 at Kidd Field. The Hokies will be making their first appearance at Sun Bowl Stadium.
“We are extremely excited to be coming to the Sun Bowl,” Virginia Tech head coach Frank 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.”
The Hokies’ Hyundai Sun Bowl appearance is the 21st consecutive bowl appearance for Virginia Tech under Beamer. The Virginia Tech graduate is the winningest active coach in the FBS.
“We’re very excited to have the chance to go back to El Paso and the Sun Bowl,” said Jim Weaver, Virginia Tech Director of Athletics. “It was the first bowl game for Virginia Tech back in 1947 and we are looking forward to going back.”
UCLA , 9-3 and 6-3 (Pac-12), will be making its fourth appearance in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, the Bruins hold a 2-1 record in Sun Bowl games. The Bruins’ last trip to the Sun City resulted in the program’s largest comeback win over Northwestern, 50-38. Before that, Wisconsin edged the Bruins 21-20 in 2000 while UCLA claimed a 6-3 victory over Illinois in 1991.
“UCLA Football is honored to be a participant in the Hyundai Sun Bowl’s 80th Anniversary game,” said UCLA head football coach Jim Mora. “These are the kind of games that you get excited about.
“We get to play on New Year’s Eve in a historic bowl game in front of a national audience on CBS. 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 2013 Hyundai Sun Bowl will be the 33rd bowl appearance for the UCLA program and the second under second-year head coach Mora.
“The Hyundai Sun Bowl is noted for its history, tremendous hospitality and how well it treats the game’s participants year-in and year-out,” said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. “Every time UCLA has traveled to El Paso the experience has been first class all the way, and we’re excited to be a part of one of the oldest traditions in college football history.”
The 80th Hyundai Sun Bowl is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 31 at noon (MST). CBS Sports will broadcast the game for the 46th consecutive year, which is the longest running partnership between a network and a bowl game. Ticket prices for the game are $17, $22, $32, $42, $52 and $62. Tickets can be purchased at the Sun Bowl Association office (915-533-4416, 800-915-BOWL or email), online at www.ticketmaster.com or at any TicketMaster outlet.
Article and photo courtesy sunbowl.org