Wednesday, January 01, 2014

UCLA: 2013 Sun Bowl Champions

EL PASO — That, as the folks in the industry say, is a wrap. UCLA labored, even struggled at times, but in the end the Bruins had a glitzy Hollywood ending for the 2013 season.
Quarterback Brett Hundley dipped and dodged on the field and off, leaving defenders in his wake along with the idea that he just might hop, skip and jump into the NFL draft.
Linebacker Jordan Zumwalt appeared to be auditioning for the lead in the next Incredible Hulk movie. Zumwalt Smash?
Linebacker Myles Jack scored another touchdown, this time while playing defense.
And a 42-12 victory over Virginia Tech on Tuesday in the Hyundai Sun Bowl left the Bruins (10-3) with their first 10-win season since 2005.
The sequel, the Bruins think, could be better.
"To see what we did this year, with 10 victories playing the schedule we had, it's scary to think we can be a lot better next year," Hundley said.
The Bruins announced their 2014 intentions with four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to break open the game after leading 14-7 through three quarters.
Where this will lead is open for interpretation. The consensus among the Bruins was that they were headed in an upward direction. UCLA fans will certainly demand that.
"I think the expectations that matter are our own," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said.
Which are?
"We need to get to a Rose Bowl," Mora said. "We need to get to and win a Rose Bowl."
Others were reaching even higher.
"I don't think there is a bar for us," receiver Devin Lucien said. "We've got to continue what we started this season. The national title is our motivation."
That is certainly part of Hundley's checklist.
"When you think of a legacy, you think about Super Bowls and national championships, Rose Bowls, something where you put your stamp on the program," Hundley said.
Whether this was Hundley's final stamp remains to be seen. A redshirt sophomore, he is eligible to declare for the NFL draft, a decision he will make in the coming days or weeks.
The Bruins could start the season as a top-10 team and go from there . . . if Hundley returns.
"That speaks for itself," Lucien said.
Anyone who says otherwise needs only to look at the statistics sheet from Tuesday. Hundley accounted for 387 of UCLA's 447 yards — 161 rushing and 226 passing — against a defense that ranked in the national top 10 in nearly every category.

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