Week 9: UCLA at Colorado

    UCLA (5-2) at Colorado (2-5) Oct. 25, 2:00, Pac-12 Network Here’s The Deal: UCLA began to slowly heal from back-to-back losses to Utah and Oregon with

    October 24, 2014

    UCLA (5-2) at Colorado (2-5) Oct. 25, 2:00, Pac-12 Network 

    Here’s The Deal: UCLA began to slowly heal from back-to-back losses to Utah and Oregon with last Saturday’s dramatic 36-34 victory at Cal. The Bruins can take another step in the right direction with another win outside Los Angeles this weekend. However, the program will ultimately be judged by how it plays over the final month, which includes a trip to Washington and visits from Arizona, USC and Stanford. Colorado is beginning to descend into familiar territory, losing the last three, including Saturday’s 56-28 decimation at the hands of USC. Forever rebuilding, the Buffs are closing in on a seventh straight bowl-less postseason. 

    Why UCLA Might Win: The Colorado D has been gashed in two of the last three games. The Bruins are in Boulder to make it three of the last four games. UCLA has talented complements to QB Brett Hundley, notably RB Paul Perkins. Perkins has been a revelation for Noel Mazzone’s offense, averaging more than 100 yards over the first seven games. The Bruins’ balance will be too much for a Buffalo unit that ranks last in Pac-12 scoring defense. 

    Why Colorado Might Win: The Buffs have been more competitive this season because the offensive attack is producing at levels not seen in these parts in a decade. A month ago, Colorado nearly upset Cal and Oregon State, as QB Sefo Liufau threw nine touchdown passes in back-to-back. The sophomore, along with prolific WR Nelson Spruce, will be a stiff challenge for a UCLA defense that ranks 83rd nationally in pass efficiency defense. 

    Who To Watch Out For: If UCLA is going to finally ignite a stale pass rush, it’ll have to do so against one of the sneaky-good offensive lines in the Pac-12. Colorado, led by seniors Kaiwi Crabb and Daniel Munyer, has only allowed 12 sacks, despite 323 pass attempts from Liufau. The onus falls on the Bruin pass rushers, like Owa Odighizuwa and Deon Hollins, to pressure Liufau out of his comfort zone. 

    What’s Going To Happen: This week’s UCLA game will look an awful lot like last week’s UCLA game. The Bruins will dominate on offense, easily winning the total yardage battle. Easily winning the game, however, hinges on the team’s ability to protect the ball. As long as UCLA doesn’t become careless, it’ll get out of Folsom Field with its most comfortable win since the Arizona State rout a month ago. 

    Prediction: UCLA 42 … Colorado 24 
    Line: UCLA -13.5 o/u: 68.5 
    Must Watch Factor: 5: Dumb and Dumber To – 1: Manhattan Love Story … 2.5 

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