Stephen Vilardo’s 2021 Holiday Bowl Game Notes

Posted on December 27, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

The Bruins play North Carolina State on Tuesday in their first bowl game since 2017, when they fell to Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl.

The Wolfpack go bowling for the seventh time in the last nine seasons, and own the ninth-most wins among Power 5 teams since the start of the 2020 season.

NC State went unbeaten at home this season, becoming the first Wolfpack squad to accomplish that feat since 1986.

My Holiday Bowl notes for both teams appear below.

Holiday Bowl

UCLA Bruins vs NC State Wolfpack

Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Tuesday, December 28, 5:00 PT | FOX Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft
Series Record: UCLA leads 2-0

UCLA (8-4) Game Notes

UCLA Bowl Record: 16-19-1

• UCLA is 19-13 all-time vs. teams in the current Atlantic Coast Conference.

• UCLA scored at least 40 points in each of the last three games of the season. The last time the Bruins scored at least 40 in more than three games was in 1998, when they did so in five games.

• UCLA averages 251.3 rushing yards per game in their eight wins, in their four losses they have averaged 142.8.

• UCLA has outscored opponents 89-42 in the first quarter this season.

• In the last three games, the Bruins have outscored opponents 93-16 in the second half.

• UCLA held five opponents to 20 or fewer points in games this season. The last time that a Bruin team held more than five opponents to 20 or fewer points in a season was when it had six such games in 2007.

• Dorian Thompson-Robinson (156.3 in 2020 and 153.9 in 2021) is just the third Bruin starting QB to put together two straight seasons with a 150.0-plus pass efficiency rating. DTR joins Brett Hundley 2013 (153.7) and 2014 (152.7) and Cade McNown 1997 (168.6) and 1998 (156.9) in doing so.

• Zach Charbonnet’s seven 100-yard games are the most by a Pac-12 player this season heading into the bowl games, and the most by a Bruin since UCLA’s all-time leading rusher Johnathan Franklin had a school-record nine in 2012.

• In the last three games, Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 69.7% of his passes for 780 yards with six TDs and three interceptions; he has also rushed for 246 yards and three TDs during those games.

• Greg Dulcich is averaging 17.6 yards per reception, the third-most of any TE in the nation.

• Mitchell Agude is 11th in the nation with .33 forced fumbles per game this season.

North Carolina State (9-3) Game Notes

NC State Bowl Record: 17-15-1

• This is the third time NC State has faced a Pac-12 opponent in a Bowl game, the other times were the 2017 Sun Bowl, a win over Arizona State, and a loss in the 1989 Copper Bowl to Arizona.

• NC State allowed 16.4 points per game at home this season, and 24.2 on the road.

• NC State has scored points on 24 of their last 25 trips to the Red Zone.

• The Wolfpack have a chance to earn just the second 10+ win season in school history. The 2002 squad finished 11-3

• NC State leads the ACC and ranks sixth in the FBS with 15 interceptions this season.

• NC State has given up less than 15 points in five games this season.

• The Pack leads the ACC and ranks fifth in the FBS in third-down conversion defense this season at 29.3%.

• Devin Leary’s 35 TD passes this season are the most in NC State history in a single season.

• Devin Leary became one of just three QBs in ACC history to post a 3400-yards/35-TD regular season, joining Jameis Winson in 2013, and Kenny Pickett of Pitt who also did so this season.

• Emeka Emezie has caught at least one pass in 45-straight games, the longest streak in NC State history and third-longest active streak in the nation.

• Christopher Dunn has scored 377 points in his career, the most in NC State history.

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