Virginia Tech (8-4) will look to finish the regular season strong on New Year’s Eve, taking on 17th-ranked UCLA (9-3) in the 80th Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The game will kick off at noon local time (2 p.m. ET) and will be televised on CBS with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson on the call.
• Virginia Tech and UCLA will be meeting for the first time on the football field when they meet in the 80th Sun Bowl.
• The Hokies are 0-3 all-time against teams currently in the Pac-12 Conference (0-1 against USC, Cal and Stanford), 0-3 against teams from California and are 3-6 all-time in games played in the state of Texas.
• Tech’s softball team is the only Hokie sport to match up in a team setting against UCLA ever, falling 1-0 to the Bruins in 2008, but winning 2-1 last season.
Sun Bowl History
• Virginia Tech will be making its second appearance in the Sun Bowl, but its first in 67 seasons. The Hokies took on Cincinnati in the 1947 Sun Bowl played at the end of the 1946 season, falling 18-6.
El Paso Ties
• Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes will be returning to his old stomping grounds when the Hokies travel to El Paso for the Sun Bowl. Grimes began his coaching career in 1993 as a high school coach at Riverside High School in El Paso. Grimes earned four letters as an offensive tackle for UTEP between 1987 and 1990. He is from Garland, Texas, which is just outside of Dallas.
• Former Tech long snapper Collin Carroll now resides in El Paso and is a reporter for KVIA News Channel 7.
• Virginia Tech has one player from California in long snapper Joe St. Germain, who hails from Los Alamitos, just outside of Los Angeles.
Tech at Neutral Sites
• Virginia Tech has a 149-129-19 record in football games played at neutral sites and is 13-20 in neutral site games during Coach Frank Beamer’s 27 seasons.
• When Logan Thomas steps under center for the first play of the Sun Bowl, it will be his 40th start in a row. He already holds the records for total offense, passing yards, attempts, completions and passing scores.
• Thomas broke the school record for consecutive starts by a quarterback against Virginia when he made his 39th-straight start, passing Bryan Randall, who started 38 in a row from 2001-2004.
Sun Bowl History
• In most of its early history, the game pitted the champion of the Border Conference against an at-large opponent. Games are now played at Sun Bowl Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso. The first three were played at El Paso High School Stadium (1935–1937), then switched to Kidd Field until the present stadium was ready in 1963. For its first 24 years of existence the game was played on Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day) or Jan. 2; since then, with the exception of a Jan. 2 game in 1977, the game has been played in December with the last 17 games played on or near Dec. 31.
On This Date
• Virginia Tech is 5-1 all-time when playing on New Year’s Eve and the Hokies will play on this date for the first time since 2009 ... all six Tech games played on Dec. 31 have been bowl games.
• Virginia Tech is 5-4 all-time in games played on Tuesdays as the Sun Bowl will be. The last time the Hokies played on a Tuesday was the 2012 Sugar Bowl against Michigan.
• The Hokies are 3-6 all-time in the state of Texas, last playing in the Lone Star State in 2002, a 13-3 win at Texas A&M.
• Virginia Tech has played just two games further west than El Paso in 119 years of football: the 2003 Insight Bowl against Cal in Phoenix, Ariz., and the 2002 San Francsico Bowl against Air Force in San Francisco, Calif.
• Tech played in the 1947 Sun Bowl at Kidd Field in El Paso, falling to Cincinnati 16-8.
Tweet It Out
A few game notes in 140 characters or less
The Sun Bowl football game between @VT_Football and @UCLAFootball will be the first gridiron meeting between the two schools.
Virginia Tech and UCLA have only met in one other sport in a team setting, coming twice in softball (1-1).
This will be the #Hokies’ second appearance in the Sun Bowl as they also played in the 1947 Sun Bowl against Cincinnati.
#Hokies Offensive Line coach Jeff Grimes played collegiately at UTEP and in Sun Bowl Stadium, home of the Sun Bowl.
.@VT_Football will be making its 21st-straight bowl game appearance, the second-longest active streak in the FBS.
.@VT_Football has an all-time record of 0-3 against teams currently in the Pac-12, falling to Cal, Stanford and Southern Cal.
The #Hokies will be looking for their 1st win against a ranked non-conference foe since 2009 (No. 19 Nebraska) when they play No. 17 UCLA.
For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_Football