It’s BYU’s third game against a Pac-12 team. Can it take the home opener? Check out the UCLA vs. BYU fearless prediction and game preview.
UCLA vs. BYU Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 17th
Game Time: 10:15 pm
Venue: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
Why UCLA Will Win
Where’s the BYU offense? It’s got the parts back with QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams back and rolling, but there’s no passing game. The line hasn’t been great, and the points aren’t flying off the board with Hill having to try coming through in the clutch.
Hill was able to do it against Arizona, but not against Utah, and now the Cougars have to try producing against a secondary that’s been solid so far against two solid passing teams.
The Arizona Wildcat defense isn’t the Arizona Cardinal defense, but the BYU attack – while balanced – couldn’t seem to find any sort of a groove. UCLA isn’t the team to get healthy against when it comes to the passing game.
Hill hasn’t been Hill yet with just one touchdown pass and three picks, while running for 124 yards and two touchdowns – he hasn’t been explosive. His receivers have been okay – not great – while UCLA shut down UNLV to a dead stop at times last week and held Texas A&M to 239 yards and a score.
The Bruin defense will work.
Why BYU Will Win
It’s a BYU home game.
Of course everyone plays better at home, but BYU seems to play at another level in Provo, going undefeated in Lavell Edwards Stadium last season. It’ll be a fun night game with UCLA coming to town with a chance at making a national splash.
Even though the Cougar offense didn’t quite work as well as hoped in the first two games, the defense kept the team in both games with takeaways, picking off two passes against Arizona and coming up with six turnovers against Utah.
Taysom Hill might have thrown three picks last week, but the D picked up the slack, and it’ll have to do that again. UCLA isn’t screwing up, but BYU is finding ways to force errors. +5 so far in turnover margin, BYU might have to be at least +2 while capitalizing on every shot.
Along with forcing mistakes, outside of one late Arizona drive the Cougars have been fantastic against the run. It kept the Wildcat ground game to just 115 yards and stoned Utah for 169 yards. That means the game should rest on …
What’s Going To Happen?
Josh Rosen. He almost pulled off the Texas A&M game, overcoming three picks to keep the team alive late, and he was solid enough against UNLV last week. This isn’t a dangerous BYU offensive team and it’s not going to bomb away in a shootout.
Rosen will come up with a few early scoring drives and BYU will have to chase. For the third straight game, BYU will be alive in the final moments, but for the second week in a row, it’s not going to come through. The combination of Rosen and the UCLA secondary will be just enough to survive.
UCLA vs. BYU Prediction
Final Score: UCLA 26, BYU 20
Line: UCLA -3.5, o/u: 49
ATS Confidence: 5: Vegas, Now – 1: Talk To Wife … 1.5
Must See Rating: 5: Hell or High Water – 1: This Is Us … 3