UCLA’s disappointing season will end with yet another downer: The Bruins will face losing-record Nebraska in the 14th Foster Farms Bowl Dec. 26 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, organizers announced.
The Cornhuskers (5-7) are among three teams with losing records playing in bowls, along with Minnesota and San Jose State.
Because as of Monday there were not enough teams with at least six victories to fill the record 80 bowl slots, the NCAA Division I Council approved a one-time process to identify 5-7 teams with the highest Academic Progress Rates to have at least 80 eligible teams.
Nebraska’s 985 Academic Progress Rate was the highest among the 5-7 teams.
Under first-year coach Mike Riley, a former Oregon State coach, the Cornhuskers lost five games by five points or less, including two by two points or less and a three-point overtime loss.
The series is tied, 6-6, including the Bruins’ 20-17 victory on Sept. 9, 1972 that ended Nebraska’s 32-game unbeaten streak. That game was future “NCIS” star Mark Harmon’s debut as UCLA’s quarterback.
This will be the third time the Bruins will be playing in the Foster Farms Bowl. UCLA lost 44-27 to Florida State in the 2006 game when it was known as the Emerald Bowl and 20-14 to Illinois on New Year’s Eve 2011 when it was known as the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
The game was initially known as the San Francisco Bowl and was played at AT&T Park from 2002-13.
ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Bruins (8-4) a 68 percent chance of winning.
—City News Service
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