Dec. 26, 9:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Reason to watch
UCLA, a team with playoff aspirations at the start of the start of the college football season, is now trying to salvage something of its 2015 campaign after dropping two of its last three to close out regular season play. Nebraska, on the other hand, is just happy to be here. It went 5–7, but the team has come on strong of late, beating Michigan State at home and losing by eight to Iowa. This team is sneaky, and if Tommy Armstrong Jr. can limit his turnovers (21 touchdowns, 16 interceptions this year), we might have a fun shootout on our hands.
Keep an eye on: UCLA QB Josh Rosen
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is reason enough to watch this game. The immensely talented true freshman has dazzled this season with 3,350 yards through the air and 20 touchdowns, though he’s had his share of first-year growing pains. He’s put on a few shows, too. His first collegiate game was a 351-yard, three-touchdown win against Virginia. He’s struggled in particular of late, coming off a bad loss to USC in which he tossed a pair of interceptions. We’ll see which Rosen shows up.
Did you know…?
Nebraska, at 5–7, is one of just three schools playing in a bowl game this season with a losing record. That’s an odd sight, considering the Cornhuskers have had only had three losing seasons in the past 54 years. With that said, their record may be deceiving. Nebraska's average margin in losses is just 4.4 points, having lost a one-point game and a pair of two-point games. UCLA, on the other hand, has either blown out opponents, or been blown out, having only played four games decided by 10 or fewer points.
If Rosen and Armstrong can keep control of the football for their respective schools, this will prove to be one of the more exciting bowl games on the slate. That’s a big if, though, considering Anderson’s performances this year. UCLA is the better team on paper, and it has the better quarterback. Taking into account that Nebraska’s defense allows the seventh-most passing yards per game in the country, the outcome of this game begins to take shape. UCLA should get the better of Nebraska in what will be an aerial show.