2005 Vitalis Sun Bowl
Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Northwestern University 22 0 3 13 38
University of California at Los Angeles 7 22 7 14 50
Date December 30, 2005
Season 2005
Stadium Sun Bowl Stadium
Location El Paso, Texas
MVP Chris Markey (UCLA RB) and Kahlil Bell (UCLA RB)
National anthem Northwestern Wildcat Marching Band
Referee Dan Romeo[1]
Halftime show Northwestern Wildcat Marching Band & Diamond Rio
Attendance 50,426
Payout US$1.575 million per team[2]
United States TV coverage
Network CBS
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Todd Blackledge, Tracy Wolfson
Sun Bowl
 < 2004  2006

The 2005 Sun Bowl, known as the Vitalis Sun Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 30, 2005 in El Paso, Texas. It was the 72nd Sun Bowl. It featured the UCLA Bruins, and the Northwestern Wildcats. UCLA overcame a 22-0 deficit to Northwestern in the first quarter to win 50-38. This is the biggest comeback in UCLA football history.[3] UCLA running backs Chris Markey and Kahlil Bell shared the most valuable player award, the first such shared award in Sun Bowl history. Defensive tackle Kevin Mims of Northwestern won the Jimmy Rogers, Jr. Most Valuable Lineman award.

The game would unexpectedly be Randy Walker's last as Northwestern head coach. Walker died of an apparent heart attack the following June.

Game summaryEdit

The weather was clear and 56 degrees Fahrenheit.[3]

Northwestern's Joel Howells started the scoring with a 33 yard field goal to give Northwestern an early 3-0 lead. Kevin Mims later scored on a 33 yard interception return to increase Northwestern's lead to 9-0. Mark Philmore rushed 19 yards for a touchdown to put Northwestern up 15-0. However, the kicker missed his second consecutive extra point attempt.

Nick Roach intercepted another UCLA pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to give Northwestern a 22-0 first quarter lead. At the end of the quarter, running back Kahlil Bell put UCLA on the board, by rushing for a 5 yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 22-7. Less than 2 minutes later, quarterback Drew Olson connected with wide receiver Ryan Moya for a 58 yard touchdown pass, to cut the lead to 22-14.

Kahlil Bell scored his second rushing touchdown of the game by rushing 6 yards for a touchdown. Drew Olson then found tight end Marcedes Lewis for the two point conversion to tie the game at 22. With 29 seconds left in the first half, Olson found wide receiver Marcus Everett for an 8 yard touchdown pass to give UCLA a 29-22 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Olson connected with Michael Pitre for a 5 yard touchdown pass, to extend the lead to 36-22. Amado Villarreal connected on a 31 yard field goal for Northwestern, to cut the lead to 36-25.

The last 2:30 of the game featured a lot of scoring. Quarterback Brett Basanez found Mark Philmore for an 8 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 36-31 with 2:29 remaining. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Brandon Breazell and returned 42 yards for a touchdown, extending UCLA's lead to 43-31. With 24 seconds in the game, Basanez found wide receiver Shaun Herbert for a 5 yard touchdown pass, pulling NU to 42-38. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Brandon Breazell, and once again returned 45 yards for a touchdown. That made the final margin 50-38.


First quarterEdit

  • Northwestern - Joel Howells, 33-yard field goal.
  • Northwestern - Kevin Mims, 30-yard interception return. Howells’ kick blocked.
  • Northwestern - Mark Philmore, 19-yard run. Howells’ kick failed.
  • Northwestern - Nick Roach,35-yard interception return. Howells converts.
  • UCLA - Kahlil Bell,five-yard run. Jimmy Rotstein converts.

Second quarterEdit

  • UCLA - Ryan Moya, 58-yard pass from Drew Olson. Rotstein converts.
  • UCLA - Bell, six-yard run. Lewis, pass from Olson.
  • UCLA - Marcus Everett eight-yard pass from D. Olson. Rotstein converts.

Third quarterEdit

  • UCLA - Michael Pitre, five-yard pass from D.Olson. Rotstein converts.
  • Northwestern - Amado Villarreal, 31-yard field goal.

Fourth quarterEdit

  • Northwestern - Mark Philmore, eight-yard pass from Brett Basanez. Basanez conversion pass intercepted.
  • UCLA - Brandon Breazell, 42-yard kickoff return. Brian Malette converts.
  • Northwestern - Shaun Herbert, five-yard pass from Basanez. Villarreal converts.
  • UCLA - Breazell, 45-yard kickoff return. Rotstein converts.


The 2005 Sun Bowl game, sponsored by Vitalis, had a $1.5 million payout.[4]

UCLA Bruin team comeback recordsEdit

This was the third record setting comeback for the 2005 UCLA Bruin football team. As of the 2007 season, they rank first, second, and third in all time scoring comebacks to win for the UCLA Bruins.[3]

  1. Down 22 points in the first quarter vs. Northwestern (2005 Sun Bowl) 0-22 / Final Score: 50-38
  2. Down 21 points in the fourth quarter at Stanford (2005) 3-24 / Final Score: 30-27ot
  3. Down 21 points in the second quarter at Washington State (2005) 7-28 / Final Score: 44-41ot

Sun Bowl recordsEdit

The Northwestern Wildcats broke five records.

  • Most Passing Completions: 38
  • Most First Downs, Team: 33
  • Most Penalties, Team: 5
  • First Quarter Points, Team: 22
  • Total offensive yardage584 total yards and the teams combined for another record with 1,037 yards.

The UCLA Bruins broke three records.

  • Kickoff Returns for Touchdowns: 2
  • Most Points Game, Team: 50
  • Biggest Comeback: down 22 Northwestern (22) vs. UCLA (0)

Together Northwestern and UCLA broke or tied six records.

  • Most Penalties, Combined 7 Northwestern (5) and UCLA (2) (tied with Purdue and Washington in the 2001 Sun Bowl)
  • Most First Downs, Combined 57 Northwestern (33) and UCLA (24)
  • Most First Quarter Points, Combined: 29 Northwestern (22) and UCLA (7)
  • First Half Points, Combined: 51 UCLA (29) and Northwestern (22)
  • Most Points Game, Combined: 88 UCLA (50) and Northwestern (38)
  • Total offensive yardage: 1,037 yards.

In addition, Brett Basanez tied the individual record of 38 completions and broke the offensive yardage record at 448 yards.

Sun Bowl LegendsEdit

CBS Announcer Verne Lundquist who had been the Sun Bowl broadcaster starting in 1988, and former UCLA Bruins coach Terry Donahue were named Legends of the Sun Bowl.


External linksEdit

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