Illini in San Francisco Bowl vs. UCLA Bruins

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The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will be at 2:30 pm CT on Dec. 31 on ESPN.The destination- picturesque AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants of MLB.

They will face a 6-7 UCLA team. That’s four bowls in a row the Illini have faced an opponent in their home state. (Baylor in the Texas Bowl last year, USC in the Rose Bowl ’07, LSU in the Sugar Bowl ’01).

Illinois has faced UCLA in bowls on four previous occasions- winning the first two. But later losing the 1984 Rose Bowl 45-9, and the extremely exciting 1991 John Hancock Bowl 6-3.

The Illini could use a win after their once exciting 6-0 season collapsed into the current six game losing streak train wreck; in which Ron Zook’s job was a casualty. The Illini are the first team in FBS history to start 6-0 and finish 0-6.

But I don’t want to end on a downer. So here’s another factoid:

Illinois is going for the first back-to-back bowl wins in program history.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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