#53 UCLA Bruins: College Football 77 in 77

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Did UCLA make a splash hire with Jim Mora Jr. as their new coach? Or is it just going to be more malaise carrying over from the Rick Neuheisel era? He didn’t leave the cupboard empty; he recruited quite well, but just didn’t do anything with it. UCLA is certainly a college basketball school, and “basketball on grass” is certainly not a style of college football played in Westwood.

They’ve tossed just 27 TD passes the past two years, everyone else in the pass happy Pac-12 has thrown at least 33.

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UCLA vs. Illinois: Brutally Honest Fight Hunger Bowl Preview

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Ever since the bowl matchups were announced, everyone has picked on the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl for being the the worst matchup of them all. The New Year’s Eve game features not one but both teams playing under interim coaches because the regular head coach was recently canned.

And both teams made dubious “history” on the way here. Illinois comes in riding a six-game losing streak, after starting 6-0. Before the 2011 Illini, no team in FBS history had started 6-0 and finished 6-6. Their opponent is 6-7 UCLA, who required an NCAA waiver to compete in this game despite a losing record. So these traditional college basketball powers play in a college football game with a combined 12-13 record. Ack.

On top of that, UCLA has four players ineligible for the game, including backup quarterback Richard Brehaut. Illinois has two ineligible, including leading rusher Jason Ford.

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