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UCLA Gets Shot At Redemption Against Oregon Ducks

Posted by Blake Frazier on 2/4/2014 5:55:36 AM

The UCLA Bruins played a bad game this past Saturday and left the field with their first loss of the season, this one coming from the Stanford Cardinal. While Stanford is another ranked team, the Bruins now have one loss and must win out if they hope to win the Pac-12 and find themselves in a BCS Bowl Game. Oregon is coming into this game after beating the Washington State Cougars, and although the game was close heading into the half, the Ducks eventually pulled away and came away with a 24 point victory.

UCLA Bruins @ Oregon Ducks
Odds: Ducks -21

What To Watch For From The UCLA Bruins

Although the Bruins have only one loss this season, and their quarterback is one of the higher touted prospects in the country, they come into this game as a huge underdog, and if you are familiar with the team it is easy to see why. The Bruins have dealt with plenty of injuries this season, which has forced numerous freshmen into starting roles, making it understandable sports books expect the Ducks to dominate. Brett Hundley, the redshirt sophomore quarterback, played pretty poorly last week against Stanford, and given it was his first real test of the season he may just not be as good as many think. While Hundley is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation, he disappointed against Stanford and will be relied upon to carry the Bruins defense this Saturday, which is a gameplan that could spell disaster. While I expect Hundley to play better than he did last week, he will have the task of keeping up with the high powered Ducks offense, but with his limited offensive weapons he simply doesn’t stand a chance.

What To Watch For From The Oregon Ducks

The Oregon offense stumbled early against the Cougars last week, but it was really the two uncharacteristic fumbles by Marcus Mariota that allowed the Cougars to hang around for half the game, and once Mariota began holding onto the ball the Ducks pulled away for another blowout victory. The stat of concern from last week’s game is the 557 passing yards Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday had against a normally stout Ducks secondary. While Halliday is an experienced quarterback who routinely puts up huge numbers, the Ducks must stop Hundley, who is a better overall quarterback, if they want to remain undefeated. De’Anthony Thomas likely will be back for this game after missing three weeks with an ankle injury.


The Bruins have a few defensive playmakers, including top-5 talent Anthony Barr, but overall their defense isn’t anything special, meaning the Ducks will likely put up a bunch of points once again. The real point of focus in this game will be on Hundley’s passing and if he can move the ball against a tough Ducks defense despite the inexperience of his offensive line. The Ducks are clearly one of the best team’s in the country, and although the Bruins are a good team as well they have just too many injuries to outscore this Ducks offense, but the Bruins remain my pick given the huge 21-point spread.

Pick: UCLA

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