Jalen Hurts and the Oklahoma Sooners take their show on the road to the Rose Bowl for a Saturday night matchup against the UCLA Bruins. Oklahoma have made waste to the Houston Cougars and South Dakota Coyotes thus far. I would like to say that their competition level is going to get kicked up a notch against Chip Kelly this week, but it’s not going to be much at all if any. Houston is a better team than UCLA at this point, as Chip is struggling to get the ball moving in his tenure. I think a lot of people thought he was going to instantly go back to college and put together a lethal offense.
That hasn’t been the case, as there have been plenty of growing pains for him and the offense. Nothing has been able to translate like it did at Oregon. That very well could be a result of the personnel at UCLA. He hasn’t had much time to recruit and get his own guys in there. Kelly was hired at the end of the 2017 season, so we’re going to have to give him a minute to see what he does with his own recruits.
If there are no improvements with this offense in a couple of years, then he likely is not going to have a job with UCLA. It could come sooner than that if the Bruins are showing no signs of at least small improvement, though. Competing in games against decent teams would be a good start. Losing to Cincinnati and San Diego State is not competing. Cincinnati aren’t a bad team and losing to them on the road isn’t the worst, but the San Diego State loss at home is inexcusable.
The schedule is only getting more difficult from here. After Oklahoma, the Bruins have Washington State and Arizona next. All three look like auto losses, which brings UCLA’s record to 0-5. We’ll see how much patience AD Dan Guerrero is with Chip. If they thought San Diego State was tricky, they’re going to find it hard to contain Jalen Hurts in this one.
Don’t come prepared and UCLA are going to get smacked in primetime. It’s imperative that Dorian Thompson-Robinson gets going for UCLA at quarterback. Thompson-Robinson gets in a rhythm and find a way to slow down Hurts, and they have a shot at the upset. That’s asking an awful lot, though. Head below for our free Oklahoma vs. UCLA pick.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. UCLA Bruins NCAAF Week 3 Betting Odds:
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Oklahoma vs. UCLA Pick:
Jalen Hurts is after a Heisman Trophy and more for Oklahoma this season. After putting on a show against Houston, Hurts put his name on name on a mantle. Was the media hype justified? In a way but settle down a minute and look at the team he was playing. Houston has one of the worst defenses in the FBS. They couldn’t stop anyone a season ago, so there are a lot of quarterbacks who would have dismantled Houston. Then the next week he routed South Dakota with ease, an FCS opponent.
Hurts is going to continue to play awful defenses in the Big 12. The numbers are going to rack up for Hurts, and in that sense, the hype is justified. He just wouldn’t be getting this same hype at Alabama against SEC teams. His skillset is great for the Big 12, though. Kyler Murray showed what kind of damage a mobile QB can do. Hurts has already accumulated 591 passing yards and 223 rushing yards. That includes a total of 8 touchdowns, 5 through the air and 3 with his legs on the ground.
His next move is to get the attention of NFL teams in the draft. Despite playing easier defenses, they’re going to like what they see from Hurts. UCLA have been playing decently enough on defense actually. That hasn’t been their primary issue. That said, they haven’t played a good offense yet. Cincinnati have looked bad thus far and San Diego State do not have an offense. San Diego State are an old school pro-style offense. Oklahoma are going to go fast and try to keep UCLA off balance. I think they will be successful.
The only weakness Oklahoma has is defensively. But does UCLA have the firepower to take advantage of the Sooners? And on top of that, have to keep up with Hurts and the Sooners’ offense. Thompson-Robinson has not proven anything for the Bruins thus far. Despite playing Cincinnati and San Diego State, the offense has failed to generate anything consistent.
Thompson-Robinson has passed for 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, with an abysmal QB rating of 21.8. The offense ranks 127th in the nation with just 240 yards per game. Conversely, the Sooners are 1st with 710 yards and 59.5 points scored per game. This season was supposed to be Thompson-Robinson’s breakout party, but it hasn’t happened, yet anyway. I can’t see him keeping up with Hurts and company in this one. Look for Oklahoma to pull away in the second-half for a 48-21 win or thereabout on Saturday night.