It’s a very, very important home opener for the embattled Kevin Sumlin and his Texas A&M program, but UCLA has the talent – and the quarterback – to come in and pull off the win. Check out the UCLA vs. Texas A&M fearless prediction and preview.
UCLA vs. Texas A&M Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 3rd
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: Kyle Field, College Station, TX
Why UCLA Will Win
UCLA is the wrong team for A&M to try to get the passing game cranked up.
The Bruins have a few concerns about staying healthy in the secondary, but if all four parts are ready to roll, this will be one of the best defensive backfields in the Pac-12. Throw in the improved pass rush – at least that’s the hope – and all of a sudden, the team known for being relatively soft will show up with a stingy defense good enough to hold down the phenomenal Aggie receiving weapons.
On the other side of the ball, Josh Rosen will get the top billing, but the Bruins will try grinding it out a bit against an A&M defensive front that’ll be okay against the run, but nothing special. If the Bruin O line can get into a lather early, the offense might be able to control the ball and the clock from the start.
Why Texas A&M Will Win
Myles Garrett. The Bruin offensive line should be a plus, but this is the spotlight opener to turn the future superstar NFL pass rusher loose. Yeah, Rosen is one of the game’s biggest stars, but Garrett is the best player. UCLA’s tackles are good, but they’re going to try to get physical against a speedster who’ll go right around him. He’ll come up with pressures in key moments as the game goes on.
The debut of Trevor Knight will get the headlines for the offense, and while he’s a heady veteran who’ll hardly be fazed by the spotlight and the big moment, he won’t have to carry the attack. It’s one thing for UCLA to try to get more physical – and it’ll help to have Eddie Vanderdoes back in the interior – but this is the game for the Aggie offensive line to try blasting away.
The Bruin secondary is too good to make too much noise deep, so as long as Knight can come up with the easy throws that’ll be there underneath, and rely on the interior rushing attack that’ll soften things up just enough to create manageable third down situations. The A&M offense will work; it just won’t have the pizzazz some might like.
What’s Going To Happen?
It’s not going to be the game you’d probably expect. The two quarterbacks are still going to be terrific, but in vastly different ways.
Rosen will throw for over 300 yards, but he’ll fail time and again on third downs – partly due to Mr. Garrett. On the other side, Knight will be the story with an efficient and effective game, doing just enough to keep things moving. In his first game, he’ll look exactly like the quarterback the Aggies need.
UCLA has the better line, the better talent – other than wide receiver – and the better overall team, but it’s UCLA. It’s going disappoint when the chances are there to take the game over.
UCLA vs. Texas A&M Prediction
Final Score: Texas A&M 27, UCLA 24
Line: Texas A&M -2, o/u: 56.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 1.5
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 4