Hundley, UCLA rout Virginia Tech 42-12 in Sun Bowl

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer got right to the point after a

humbling loss to UCLA in the Sun Bowl.

”UCLA made the plays it had to and you have to give them

credit,” Beamer said. ”I was disappointed that we didn’t execute

better.”

Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley shredded Virginia Tech’s

fourth-ranked defense in the No. 17 Bruins’ 42-12 victory over the

Hokies on Tuesday.

Hundley had 86- and 7-yard touchdown runs and finished with 161

yards on 10 carries

”I guess he can run a little,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. ”He

played well. He was poised.”

Hundley also completed 16 of 29 passes for 226 yards and two

scores.

”It was a special game,” Hundley said. ”We played well as an

offense. We had to make adjustments. When we did, we got things

going.”

Hundley and UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt shared MVP honors.

Zumwalt had 10 tackles and returned an interception 43 yards to set

up a touchdown.

”It’s the best game I’ve ever seen him play,” Mora said about

Zumwalt. ”He was unbelievable from start to finish.

The Bruins (10-3) outscored the Hokies (8-5) 28-2 in the fourth

quarter.

After Virginia Tech cut it to 14-10 on Michael Branthover’s

22-yard field goal with 3:53 left in the third quarter, UCLA

answered with a 12-play, 85-yard drive, capped by Paul Perkins’s

5-yard run early in the fourth.

Hokies backup quarterback Mark Leal then threw a pass under

heavy pressure that linebacker Myles Jack intercepted and returned

29 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-10.

”In the second half we blocked things up better,” Mora said.

”We got back to doing what we do best. We played with great tempo.

We were not as uptight.”

Virginia Tech, which lost starting quarterback Logan Thomas to

an injury in the second quarter, got its final points when UCLA

punter Sean Covington stepped on the end line for a safety with

9:38 left.

Thomas, Virginia Tech’s career passing leader, left after taking

a big hit along the UCLA sideline early in the second quarter. The

hit resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the Bruins.

”It was tough to miss time on the field, the worst feeling of

my career,” Thomas said. ”I would have rather you guys talk bad

about me than miss time on the field. We were doing some good

things on offense. I thought we were right on the verge of doing

some good things.”

UCLA pushed it to 35-12 on Hundley’s 8-yard touchdown pass to

Thomas Duarte with 7:31 to play. The Bruins stayed aggressive late,

and Hundley fired a 59-yard scoring strike down the right sideline

to Shaquelle Evans for another score with 5:49 remaining.

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, and finished

with 197.

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.

”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,” Beamer

said. ”That was huge. I thought about going for it on fourth down

but we just wanted to get something on the board.”