A late night special on the west coast to conclude another Saturday of college football. UCLA is in dire need of a quality game and win tonight, but they’re not going to have it easy against Washington State on the road. Washington State started the season off on the wrong page, which goes without saying. A 0-2 start isn’t going to get too many people excited about your program. With the expectations Washington State had on their backs, the start was particularly troublesome. Losing to Boise State on the blue turf in Idaho by 3 points as 10-point underdogs isn’t the worst loss in the world. But getting ripped by Eastern Washington in Week 1 was a bad loss. Washington State, realistically, was looking at 1 loss by this week, but they’ll be welcoming UCLA with a record of 3-2. 4-1 looks a heck of a lot better than 3-1, especially when it comes to the rankings.
Dismantling Stanford 42-16? A very good win. So, Washington State has looked like a top team at times, and others have looked lackluster. In any event, it’s better to be good later in the season than early. The Cougars have won three straight games and have shown no signs of slowing up. They’ve started Pac-12 play out with a 2-0 record and will be looking for 3-0 tonight over UCLA.
UCLA were giddy about getting this season started. After all, quarterback Josh Rosen is being touted as a highly regarded NFL prospect. I just haven’t seen it, though, from him. He played well as a freshman last season, but this guy has Christian Hackenberg written all over him. Remember Hackenberg went to Penn State as one of the best high school quarterbacks in the country. He came out firing on all cylinders in his freshman season and has never been the same. The Jets took a shot with him and it didn’t go so well for him in training camp. Rosen is looking at the 2018 or 2019 NFL Draft, so there is lots of time for him to get things going. Mind you, he is still a good college quarterback. He gets his yards and puts up big numbers, but I am not so sure about him being the best NFL prospect at the moment. We shall see though.
UCLA Bruins vs. Washington State Cougars NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Washington State -7.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
UCLA vs. Washington State Pick:
UCLA dropped at ugly game last week against Arizona State. The Sun Devils are down to what it seems like their four stringer at quarterback, yet UCLA were not able to take advantage of the situation and lost, 23-20. That is what you call for an ugly loss. I really don’t know how Jim Mora still has a head coaching job. There is talent here at UCLA, they have had talent for the last few years, but the Bruins have been failing to impress. It’s looking like yet another average year for UCLA. If they’re fine with being average, then so be it, Mora can have his job for the next thirty years. However, if they want to become elite, I’m not so sure Mora is the guy for the job.
The Cougars have suddenly found a running game. Washington State has been running the ball effectively the last two weeks, adding another dimension to their offense that is hard to predict. There is no wonder why they’ve been winning easily and putting up big numbers. With the passing and running game getting it done, Washington State is a difficult offense to stop. 111th in the country looks pathetic, but 150 yards rushing per game for the Cougars is huge. They even outrushed Stanford by 40 yards last week. Yeah, let that one sink in.
Luke Falk has put up gaudy numbers in the Mike Leach offense again this season. Falk had to sit the tail-end of last season due to an injury to his head, but still passed for 38 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He is on a torrid pace this season, with 16 touchdowns and 4 picks. The Cougars are 9th in the country, scoring 44 points per game. Like I said, Rosen has been getting his yards, as UCLA are 8th in college football, with 329 yards passing per game. However, are averaging 26.8 points per game for 80th in the country, they’re not finishing drives.
With a low total of 52, though, I think that’s a little too low for this game. There is the threat of rain, but it doesn’t appear that wind is going to be too much of an issue. Rosen is questionable to play in this game after an injury suffered last week, but still think there will be enough scored here. I didn’t expect a total in the 70’s like most Washington State, but was looking at high 50’s to low 60’s. So, I see this as a nice opportunity to lock in the OVER.
PICK: OVER 52 POINTS (-110)