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UCLA Football Bowl Projections: Week 14

Taking a look around the internet to see where the experts are picking the Bruins to play come bowl season.

Finishing off the regular season with a three-game winning streak and a victory over the Golden Bears, the Bruins have upped their chances of going to a higher-profile bowl game.

UCLA football (8-4. 6-3 Pac-12) started the season strong and ended it just the same. After three consecutive wins, the Bruins will now wait to see which bowl game they will play in after not securing a shot at the Pac-12 crown this weekend. Outlets from across the country have the Bruins playing anywhere from California to Texas.

ESPN: Valero San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs No. 17 Pittsburgh
San Diego, CA
Dec. 28, 5:00 p.m.

The Holiday Bowl matches up a Pac-12 team and an ACC team. At this moment, Pittsburgh has a 10-2 record on the season, while also being ranked No. 17 in this week’s AP Poll. In Week 13, the Panthers defeated Syracuse 31-14 to solidify their spot in the ACC Championship game. The Bruins and Panthers have faced off on 14 occasions, with the Bruins having the edge 9-5. The most recent time they faced off was in 1972 when No. 8 UCLA defeated Pittsburgh 38-28. With Mark Harmon lining up at quarterback, the Bruins marched into Pittsburgh and returned with a victory. This bowl matchup would be eye candy with both teams wearing blue and gold jerseys and could be a sleeper pick for an entertaining game.

Sports Illustrated: San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs No. 21 NC State
San Diego, CA
Dec. 28, 5:00 p.m.

The Holiday Bowl matches up a Pac-12 team and an ACC team. NC State is currently 9-3 on the campaign and rose three spots in the AP Poll to No. 21 after defeating its rival North Carolina in Week 13. The all-time record between UCLA and NC State is 2-0 in favor of the Bruins. Last facing off in 1960, the Bruins won the meeting in a low-scoring 7-0 affair. The matchup with the Wolfpack would give the Bruins a chance to defeat a ranked team to end the season – something they have not done since Week 1 versus LSU. CBS also has UCLA vs NC State as their bowl projection.

Action Network: SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl vs Penn State
Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m.

The Las Vegas Bowl will match up a Pac-12 team with a Big Ten team for the 2021 season. Penn State currently has a 7-5 record through 13 weeks of the season and is just on the outskirts of the AP Poll, where they sit at No. 32. In Week 13, the Nittany Lions lost to No. 11 Michigan State by three points to end their regular season. Bruins’ fans in the 1960s may remember when the opposite coast teams played home-and-home series from 1963 to 1968. The Bruins took the upper hand in the six matchups with four wins.

Athlon Sports: SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl vs Minnesota
Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m.

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Minnesota is currently 8-4 on the season after winning back-to-back games to finish the season against Indiana and Wisconsin. Just on the outside of the AP Poll, the Golden Gophers were ranked No. 29 in the nation and could slip into the poll after conference championship week. The Golden Gophers and Bruins have played three times in their history with Minnesota having the 2-1 edge. Their most recent matchup was in 1978, when the Terry Donahue-led Bruins won 17-3 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This bowl possibility could provide both Bruins and Golden Gophers fans with a rare and interesting matchup - as well as a road trip to Las Vegas.

247Sports: Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl vs Miami (FL)
El Paso, TX
Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m.

The Sun Bowl matches up the fifth-choice Pac-12 team with an ACC team ranked fourth through eighth in the conference. Miami currently has a 7-5 record this season and won their most recent game against Duke, 47-10. The Bruins may have the 2-1 all-time edge over the Hurricanes, but the most recent edition of this game is surely still a sore subject for most Bruin fans. In 1998, No. 3 UCLA lost their 20-game winning streak and shot at a National Championship with a 49-45 defeat at the hands of Miami. The stakes would be much lower than the game 23 years ago, but would likely provide an interesting matchup versus the Hurricanes for current Bruins.

USA Today: Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl vs No. 19 San Diego State
Inglewood, CA
Dec. 18, 4:30 p.m.

The LA Bowl matches up the fifth-choice Pac-12 team with the Mountain West champions, and 2021 will be its inaugural year. SDSU picked up another win in Week 13, this time against Boise State, bringing its record to 11-1. After the victory, the Aztecs moved up three spots in the AP Poll to No. 19. Since 1922, the Aztecs and Bruins have faced off 23 times, with the Bruins taking 21 of the contests. The Bruins held a 19-game winning streak from 1925 to 2009, but in the most recent matchup in 2019, SDSU picked up its first-ever win against UCLA at the Rose Bowl by nine points. This bowl matchup would be the bottom of the pile option for UCLA, as they would hope to not be considered the fifth-best in the conference.

The Athletic: San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs No. 18 Wake Forest
San Diego, CA
Dec. 28, 5:00 p.m.

The Holiday Bowl matches up a Pac-12 team and an ACC team. Wake Forest has a 10-2 record on the season so jumped three spots to No. 18 in the AP Poll. In Week 13, the Demon Deacons collected their tenth win of the season, finishing their regular season strong by defeating Boston College 41-10. On Saturday, Wake Forest will play in the ACC Championship game versus Pittsburgh. There isn’t much history between UCLA and Wake Forest, as they have never played head-to-head. In other sports, such as basketball, soccer and tennis, the matchup between the Bruins and the Deacons is more regular. If this bowl matchup were to occur, it would technically be one of a kind on the gridiron.

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