Posted December 31, 2013

Brett Hundley showcases full skill set as UCLA tops Virginia Tech 42-12 in the Sun Bowl

Sun Bowl, UCLA Bruins, Virginia Tech Hokies
Brett Hundley

Brett Hundley had 387 total yards and four TDs in UCLA’s rout of Virginia Tech. (Ivan Pierre Aguirre/USA Today Sports)

If the Sun Bowl ends up being Brett Hundley’s final game at UCLA, at least he went out in style. The redshirt sophomore showed exactly why NFL scouts are so interested in him with a 226-yard passing, 161-yard rushing, four-touchdown performance in a 42-12 rout of Virginia Tech.

While Hundley hasn’t yet been able to generate consistency as a passer, he certainly boasts the tools to be a star at the next level. He possesses good arm strength, elusiveness, speed and size — and he clearly hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. He showcased his running ability in the first half on Tuesday, most notably during an 86-yard touchdown scamper with 9:17 remaining in the second quarter. When the Hokies zeroed in on his rushing, Hundley made them pay with his arm, tossing fourth-quarter scores of eight and 59 yards, respectively. Even though Virginia Tech did a good job hanging around early, it didn’t have the offensive firepower to keep up.

Of course, it didn’t help matters that Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas took a vicious hit from linebacker Jordan Zumwalt in the second quarter just moments after dragging basically the entire UCLA defense on a powerful run. He was initially diagnosed with a stinger, but he was reevaluated at the half. Thomas came out of the locker room wearing pads, but he didn’t have his helmet and never returned to the game.

Junior Mark Leal, who had previously attempted 23 passes in his entire career, took Thomas’ place and made few solid plays before UCLA got a good read on him. He finished 12-of-25 for 130 yards with two interceptions. Virginia Tech’s lack of playmakers was a weakness all season, and losing Thomas ultimately proved too much to come back from.

A botched fair catch with 5:27 remaining in the third quarter put the Hokies in great field position, but they opted for a 22-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-two in the red zone. Michael Branthover’s kick temporarily cut the deficit to 14-10. However, the Bruins marched 85 yards for a touchdown on their next drive, and freshman sensation Myles Jack snagged a 24-yard pick-six less than a minute later. The Hokies were buried for good.

For his part, Hundley sits in a win-win situation right now. If he elects to return to campus, he’ll have another year to refine his game and showcase his elite skill set. If he decides to declare for the NFL draft, he immediately becomes an intriguing target for any team that isn’t able to land Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater (assuming he declares for the draft as well). There is no clear-cut No. 2 quarterback prospect in the group behind Bridgewater, and Hundley has just as enticing a case as guys like Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Brett Smith and Tajh Boyd.

7 comments
JeffBockert
JeffBockert

I would have loved to see UCLA play Georgia, LSU or South Carolina - shoot, even Alabama. 

SculptorDad
SculptorDad

Zumwalt should have been ejected twice.

rma1015601
rma1015601

I am not sure why the UCLA player was penalized on the hit on Logan Thomas.  He didn't hit him in the head, didn't leave his feet and didn't use his helmet.  It is unfortunate that Thomas was injured but it looked just like a clean hard hit.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

Plenty of QB's in the NFL have the speed, strength, potential, size etc... but they don't make it.


It's great to have those, don't get me wrong, but it takes MORE and the more is even MORE important than those other qualities and folks like Vince Young and J. Russell didn't possess the more, only the other things.


There are QB's in the NFL who aren't especially fast, strong (yes, they are strong, but not in comparison to some of their counterparts is what I'm saying) etc... yet they still do very well in the NFL.


The league is complicated and very fast.  If a QB can't get away from a rush, they need to be able to know what to do and where to go with the ball quickly so the ball is gone before the rush gets there even if they are slow afoot.


I'm not a Cam Newton fan, but he's done well so far.  The team hasn't been great overall his three years (very good this year obviously, but combined 3 yr record I mean).


But Cam did well his first yr with stats and even though he was put down a lot in his 2nd yr, he still did pretty well and he did well again this yr.


Andrew Luck is another good one and his athletic ability is much better than most realize as his combine numbers were right up next to Cam Newton's.


This kid in the article doesn't strike me as being like Cam or Andrew were in college.  


Could he get there?  Yes, but I think he should stay another yr in college.


Heck, even the Oregon QB is staying in college and he would have been selected highly.



drbcool
drbcool

Hope not. He'd be awesome after another year. Don't think he's ready yet.