UCLA vs. Fresno State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 15
Game Time: 10:30 ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
UCLA (0-2) vs. Fresno State (1-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Fresno State Will Win
The offense is moving the chains.
It was a problem last season in the first year under head coach Jeff Tedford – the O only converted 35.6% of its third down tries – but so far it’s converting at a 52% clip.
UCLA’s defense isn’t slowing down teams on the money downs, and the offense isn’t moving the ball. But the biggest problem so far under Chip Kelly? The offensive line is awful.
It wasn’t good last year, and it appears to have gotten worse. There’s no running game, there’s no stopping anyone’s pass rush, and there’s just no offensive consistency so far. Fresno State’s defensive pressure hasn’t been there quite yet, but if it ever wanted to ramp it up, this would be the time.
One Reason Why UCLA Will Win
So what’s going right so far?
The offense might have an issue, but at least it’s not turning the ball over, giving it up just once so far. And even though it was blowout mode, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson showed a big improvement against Oklahoma after a rough Week One.
It’s going to be a learning process for the freshman, and there were glimpses in Norman, throwing for 254 yards and a touchdown in the 49-21 loss. At the very least, there’s a little bit of explosion.
How did Fresno State blow it against Minnesota? The running game was a problem, the two interceptions were a killer, and the O that was so great against Idaho failed to hit the 300-yard mark.
If the Bruins can somehow get up early, they should be okay.
What’s Going To Happen
Is this when UCLA finally starts to break through and look the part?
The Fresno State offense isn’t going to be amazing, and Minnesota was able to win last week without much of a ground game. It’s going to be up to Thompson-Robinson to carry the passing attack and the offense, and he’ll be just good enough to get by.
It’s not going to be a pretty game on either side of the ball, and both teams will need a big score and a big drive to break though – it’ll be like pulling teeth at times.
But the UCLA lines really aren’t that strong, the defense hasn’t showed anything impressive, and the offense is still trying to figure it all out. Fresno State bounces back from the Minnesota loss with another strong defensive performance from LB Jeffery Allison and the bunch to pull off the win.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Fresno State 26, UCLA 23
Line: Fresno State -2.5, o/u: 50.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1
Must See Rating: 3
5: The Longest Yard (the 1974 version)
1: Chicago Med/Chicago Fire/Chicago P.D.