EL PASO, Texas – That, as the folks in the film industry say, is a wrap. UCLA labored, even struggled at times, but in the end the Bruins had a glitzy Hollywood ending for the 2013 season.
Quarterback Brett Hundley dipped and dodged on the field and off, leaving defenders in his wake along with the idea that he just might hop, skip and jump into the NFL draft.
Linebacker Jordan Zumwalt appeared to be auditioning for the lead in the next Incredible Hulk movie.
Freshman linebacker Myles Jack of Bellevue scored another touchdown, this time while playing defense.
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And a 42-12 victory over Virginia Tech on Tuesday in the Sun Bowl gave the Bruins (10-3) their first 10-win season since 2005.
The sequel, the Bruins said, could be better.
“To see what we did this year, with 10 victories playing the schedule we had, it’s scary to think we can be a lot better next year,” Hundley said.
The Bruins announced their 2014 intentions with four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to break open the game after leading 14-10 through three quarters.
Where this will lead is open for interpretation. The consensus among the Bruins was that they are headed in an upward direction. UCLA fans will certainly demand that.
Bruins coach Jim Mora, a former Seahawks coach, said, “I think the expectations that matter are our own.”
“We need to get to a Rose Bowl,” Mora said. “We need to get to and win a Rose Bowl.”
Others were reaching higher.
“I don’t think there is a bar for us,” receiver Devin Lucien said. “We’ve got to continue what we started this season. The national title is our motivation.”
That is part of Hundley’s checklist.
“When you think of a legacy, you think about Super Bowls and national championships, Rose Bowls, something where you put your stamp on the program,” he said.
Whether this was Hundley’s final stamp remains to be seen. A redshirt sophomore, he is eligible to declare for the NFL draft, a decision he said he will make in the coming days or weeks.
The Bruins could start the season as a top-10 team and go from there . . . if Hundley returns.
Hundley accounted for 387 of UCLA’s 447 yards — 161 rushing and 226 passing — against a defense that ranked among the nation’s top 10 in several categories.
The Hokies (8-5) came into the game allowing 23 points per game. They gave up 28 in the fourth quarter.
In the first half, Hundley scored on runs of 7 and 86 yards for a 14-7 halftime lead.
A field goal cut the lead to 14-10. Hundley answered with an 85-yard drive on which he completed all six of his passes for 80 yards, setting up a 5-yard touchdown run by Paul Perkins.
“We had to respond,” Hundley said.
Jack, who scored seven touchdowns as a running back this season, returned one interception 24 yards for a TD. Zumwalt lumbered 43 yards with the other, setting up another score.