Cross town rivals USC and UCLA will each make bowl appearances this year, closing out their 2013 college football season.
The Trojans will play Fresno State, one of the nation’s top offenses, in the Las Vegas Bowl Dec. 21, while the Bruins will take on defensive powerhouse Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl Dec. 31 in El Paso, it was announced Monday.
The Fresno State Bulldogs (11-1) are first among Football Bowl Subdivision teams in
passing offense, averaging 409.8 yards per game, third in total offense, averaging 573 yards and fifth in scoring, averaging 45.3 points.
USC (9-4) will be playing in the Las Vegas Bowl for the second time. The Trojans lost to Utah, 10-6, in the 2001 game.
“To have the opportunity to get your 10th win” would “put you in a realm of accomplishment that you could walk away from a season extremely proud,” USC interim coach Clay Helton told reporters on a conference call.
The Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4) are fourth among Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense, allowing an average of 269.6 yards per game, and eighth in scoring defense, allowing 17.4 points per game.
UCLA (9-3) will be facing Virginia Tech for the first time. This will be the Bruins fourth Sun Bowl appearance and first since a 50-38 victory over Northwestern in the 2005 game. UCLA has a 2-1 record in the Sun Bowl.
“I’m extremely confident that our young men will come to El Paso and they will enjoy the experience to the fullest and they will act with character and class like is expected of a UCLA student-athlete,” Bruins coach Jim Mora said.
The Sun Bowl has the third choice among both Pacific-12 Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference teams after the conference champions and any additional teams are chosen to play in Bowl Championship Series games.
The champion of the Mountain West Conference automatically plays in the Las Vegas Bowl if it is not selected for a Bowl Championship Series game. The game has the fourth choice among Pacific-12 Conference teams after the conference champions and any additional teams are chosen to play in BCC games.