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UCLA's Brett Hundley shows off dual-threat talent in Sun Bowl

Andrew Weber / USA Today Sports
UCLA's Brett Hundley passed for 226 yards and two TDS and rushed for 161 yards and two TDs in the Sun Bowl.

Brett Hundley showed what he can do as a dual-threat quarterback in a 42-12 demolition of Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl, leaving only the question of whether Hundley would be continuing his development next season at UCLA or in the NFL.

Hundley, a 6-foot-3, 222-pound redshirt sophomore, was dominant as a runner, rushing for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, but his passing prowess took some time to get on track. It wasn't until a drive that began late in the third quarter that Hundley looked comfortable; he completed all six of his attempts for 80 yards, and running back Paul Perkins capped the drive on a 5-yard run to open the fourth quarter.

Hundley finished 16-of-29 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns, both coming in the fourth quarter. His accuracy on intermediate and deep balls must continue to be refined, along with his ability to move through his reads, but Hundley has the raw tools to match any quarterback in the college ranks, including Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State.

Sturdy enough to handle contact, elusive enough to rip off an 86-yard touchdown run against the always stout Hokies defense, and strong enough to make any throw, Hundley has the type of skill set that would make it difficult for NFL teams to pass up should he declare for the 2014 draft.

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Asked after Tuesday's game whether his big performance made his draft decision harder or easier, Hundley responded, "Harder."

But it might also be hard for Hundley to pass up another season with the Bruins, who look like a viable Pac-12 championship contender with him at the helm. Though the defense must replace linebackers Anthony Barr (three tackles, one pressure) and Jordan Zumwalt (10 tackles, one interception) and defensive end Cassius Marsh (three tackles), the offense will be without wide receiver Shaq Evans (four receptions for 92 yards, one touchdown) and could lose junior offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo to the draft, everything else is in place for a title run.

Oregon, Stanford and USC must come to the Rose Bowl, and a neutral-site game against Texas could give UCLA the added cachet to make the inaugural four-team college football playoff.

Hundley needs refinement, that much is certain. Where it will occur is still uncertain.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.



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