The Oregon Ducks’ season was turned on its head after Justin Herbert broke his collarbone. He scored a touchdown on the play against Cal a few weeks ago, but it came at a cost for Oregon. Without Herbert, they’ve scored 17 points the last two weeks, and gone 0-2 vs Washington State and Stanford. The defense hasn’t gotten any better, and the offense has regressed significantly without Herbert at the controls.
Oregon has looked to freshman Braxton Burmeister and he hasn’t played the part all. Burmeister signed with Oregon as a talented 4-star dual-threat quarterback out of California. He got some looks from other big programs, including Florida, Washington, and Arizona. So, Burmeister may be a freshman, but he’s expected to be a good quarterback eventually.
Even as a freshman, a highly-touted recruit should at least have a grasp of the offense. Burmeister hasn’t looked like he’s been preparing to play. It almost came as a surprise that he had to play. It was a surprise to see Herbert break his collarbone, but as a backup, you must be prepared for those moments. Burmeister hasn’t looked ready to play the starting role, but he is getting valuable experience if anything else.
The Ducks are going to attack UCLA’s weakness, which is their ability to stop the run. They had a bye week to get better vs the run, but it didn’t matter against Arizona. The Wildcats ran all over them in Tucson and handed them a blowout loss. UCLA lost by a score of 47-30. Once again, they fell victim to a putrid defense on the ground.
Arizona quarterback Kahlil Tate did whatever he wanted to do, en route for 230 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Oregon is going to feed Royce Freeman and then feed him some more. We’ll see if it works against the bad UCLA defense. Josh Rosen is coming off a bad start, too. We’ll see if he responds this afternoon. Head below for our free Oregon vs. UCLA pick.
Oregon Ducks vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds:
vs. UCLA -6.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Oregon vs. UCLA Pick:
Rosen looked like trash last week against Arizona. I don’t know if he was partying on campus at the University of Arizona or what, but he didn’t look in the game. He was staring down his receivers constantly and throwing lollipops. Rosen threw for 219 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. The only offense they found was on the ground. Rosen played drunk, and the defense allowed another huge game for the opposing offense. If Rosen isn’t passing for 500 yards and 5 touchdowns, the Bruins lose, it’s as simple as that with their bad defense.
UCLA are allowing 523 yards per game, 127th in the country. Most of those yards come against the run, where they’re allowing a whopping 313 yards per game. The Ducks’ offense has been ugly the last two weeks, but they can still run the ball effectively with Royce Freeman. Oregon are 18th with 244.6 rushing yards per game. Despite popular opinion, the Ducks have been more of a rushing team than passing for years now. Even with Marcus Mariota, Oregon was a run-first program.
Oregon should be able to run the ball well, and it should open up some opportunities for Burmeister down the field. He has been bad, but I can see the Oregon offense finally busting out against the bad UCLA defense. Conversely, though, I could see Rosen waking up this week against an anemic Oregon defense. After last week, look for a bounce back performance. The Ducks are allowing 30.3 points per game for 89th in the nation. Rosen will light this defense who are ranked 100th against the pass up. The total has come down from it’s opening number, which is great by me. A play on the OVER looks like it should be a winning pick.
PICK: OVER 67.5 (-110)