Brett Hundley used the 2013 season to bolster his value as one of the most interesting quarterbacks in the country, and can end his sophomore season with a bang as his UCLA Bruins stand as favorites on the Hyundai Sun Bowl spread. They get a bit of a layup matchup against a Virginia Tech Hokies team that was a pariah in college football gambling all year, going just 4-7-1 ATS. Still, this should be a tantalizing matchup because despite Virginia Tech’s woes against the spread, they’re still one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Containing a guy like Hundley is still a serious challenge. The Arizona native posted 2,845 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air and added another 587 yards on the ground with 10 additional rushing touchdowns. The issue with grading him and UCLA on the Hyundai Sun Bowl spread is that the Pac-12 does not have many great defensive teams. Hundley went 0-2 SU and ATS when playing the conference’s best (Stanford and ASU) and managed just one passing touchdown in those two games. He’s a great talent, but he is far from refined.
Finding room to work with against Virginia Tech’s defense could also be a serious problem. The Hokies allowed just 17.4 points per game, and surrendered just 269.6 total yards per game. Statistically, they’re a top-5 defense but those metrics could be a product of their presence in the ACC.
So betting on the Hyundai Sun Bowl spread either means siding with a Virginia Tech defense that might not be as good as their numbers suggest, or UCLA and Brett Hundley. The Bruins were actually the second best betting team in the Pac-12 at 8-4 ATS and their three losses came against the top schools in their grouping. UCLA lost to Oregon, Stanford and Arizona State by a combined score of 57-104. Let’s just make this clear: Virginia Tech is nowhere close to being as offensively efficient as any of those teams.
The Hokies only managed to score 30+ points in two games this year and averaged just 23.4 points per game. Their defense was remarkable on paper, but they’re simply not equipped to keep solid teams at bay for the duration of four quarters. It’s obvious that UCLA’s defense has problems against some of the best scoring teams in the country, but it’s virtually impossible to imagine Trey Edmunds and the Hokies really pushing the Burins to the limit.
Instead I expect Hundley and the Bruins to expose this Virginia Tech defense for what it actually is. They may be a better unit than I’m willing to give them credit for, but the Hokies’ offence is as lifeless as it gets in the post season. Don’t over think this one too much. Your money is safer with Hundley and these Bruins against the Hyundai Sun Bowl Spread.