UCLA vs. Oklahoma fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 1:00 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
UCLA (0-1) vs. Oklahoma (1-0) Game Preview
That didn’t exactly go so well.
What was UCLA going to look like with Chip Kelly taking over and Chip Kellying things up? It was an inconsistent mish-mosh of things on offense, with too many mistakes and misfires in the 26-17 loss to Cincinnati. The situation wasn’t helped by losing starting quarterback Wilton Speight early on to an injury, but it was an AAC team at home, and the team didn’t play well. On the flip side …
That went exactly as well as fans could’ve hoped.
Florida Atlantic should still have the beat team in Conference USA, and Oklahoma ripped through it without an issue, taking target practice with the passing game and dominating defensively on the way to a laugher of a 63-14 win.
And now, this marquee-name showdown looks like it might be another learning step for the Bruins, and a shot for the Sooners to show off.
This is the fifth time the two have met, with UCLA winning 41-24 in 2005, but with OU 3-1 going back to the first meeting, a 38-3 victory to open up 1986.
One Reason Why UCLA Will Win
So what went right for the Bruins in the loss to Cincinnati? The run defense was still an issue, but the pass rush went off with four sacks, plenty of plays behind the line, and with a decent day from the secondary.
Safety Adarius Pickett had a big day with 15 stops, the pressure came from several different areas, and overall, the D wasn’t too awful.
To have any sort of a chance, the Bruins have to get Kyler Murray and the Sooner backfield right away, and the secondary can’t let the OU receivers run free with big yards after the catch. This D can do that. However, give the Sooner skill players time, and they’ll fire at will.
One Reason Why Oklahoma Will Win
The UCLA run defense is still an issue.
A total disaster last season, the Bruin defensive front didn’t step up right away in the opener, allowing Michael Warren to run for 142 yards and three scores, and close to 200 Bearcat rushing yards overall. It held UC to under four yards per carry, but it couldn’t dictate the tempo.
And now UCLA has to deal with the fantastic Oklahoma offensive line and the devastating runners. Murray connected on 9-of-11 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns against FAU. He didn’t need to take off too much, but he was untouchable at times, including a brilliant scramble doing whatever he wanted. Rodney Anderson only ran five times, but he ripped off 100 yards and two scores.
The Sooners ran for 316 yards and averaged over eight yards per carry. They might just do that again.
What’s Going To Happen
UCLA has talent, and it has good upside, but it’s going to be a work in progress until all the young players can start to come together. A team has to be flawless to have any shot at staying with the Sooners, and that’s hardly going to be this Bruin team.
The Oklahoma offensive machine will keep on going. It’ll be even more run-heavy than it was against FAU in another efficient, devastating display of firepower.
Soon, that will be UCLA under Kelly. But not yet.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Oklahoma 48, UCLA 17
Line: Oklahoma -25, o/u: COMING
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 3
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