Let's take one last look at UCLA and throw some numbers around as we anxiously await the 3:21 p.m. kickoff:
Utah - W, 31-10
Rice - W, 26-16
@Washington - L, 29-19
Stanford - W, 31-0
Arizona - W, 27-7
@Oregon - L, 30-20
@Notre Dame - L, 20-17
Washington State - L, 37-15
@California - L, 38-24
|Team||GP||Rush YPG||Rush YPC||Rush TD's||Pass YPG||Pass YPA||Pass TD's||QB Rating||Pts Per Game|
|Team||GP||Rush YPG||Rush YPC||Rush TD's||Pass YPG||Pass YPA||Pass TD's||Pts Allowed||Int's|
Now... what does all this mean for the Beavers?
It appears UCLA has a weak pass defense. The Bruins have allowed 17 passing touchdowns, which puts them tied for worst in the Pac-10. Look for the Beavers to go deep to Stroughter and the rest of the receivers early, as that has been a fairly consistent part of the Beavers' game plans this year. The Beavers like to strike early. The question is, can they strike early, and keep scoring touchdowns throughout the game?
UCLA QB Ben Olsen is out with a knee injury, so it will be up to backup QB Patrick Cowan and running back Chris Markey to produce the majority of the Bruins' Offense. For Oregon State, Matt Moore looks to post a win against his former team, and he will have a healthier Yvenson Bernard in the backfield to help him. As far as the passing numbers go, Oregon State and UCLA match up fairly closely. Like I mentioned however, Oregon State has the better pass defense, so I expect the passing numbers to favor the Beavers in today's game. Also, believe it or not, we're going to be watching two of the best teams in the Pac-10 at defending the run. UCLA has had the #2 pass defense this year and Oregon State #3. Only USC is better, at #1 with and average of 90 yards allowed per game.
But ultimately, this is a clash of teams headed in opposite directions. The Beavers are red-hot, bringing a four game win streak to Pasadena. The Bruins are on a four game losing streak, against Oregon, Notre Dame, Washington State, and last week's loss at Cal.
What I've noticed, and UCLA fans will probably agree, is that the Bruins haven't beaten anybody that good this year. Their four wins are over Utah, (currently 5-4 overall) Rice, (currently 4-5) Stanford (0-9) and Arizona (4-5). That leads me to believe that they don't perform well in close games against beatable opponents, and that became most clear to me after their home loss against Washington State.
I look for the Beavers to win this one, 35-21.