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2020-11-21
UCLA
Oregon
League : NCAAF

Oregon vs UCLA Prediction & Preview


Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

The UCLA Bruins are traveling to Autzen Stadium to face off against the 11th-ranked Oregon Ducks on Saturday. The Bruins are sitting at 1-1 after a dominant 34-10 win over the California Golden Bears last Sunday and the Ducks are undefeated after two games and are riding momentum after a 43-29 victory over Washington State last week. UCLA will have junior Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center, who is coming off a four touchdown game last week. The Ducks will have sophomore Tyler Shough at quarterback for this game who also had a four touchdown performance last week.

(edit: Thompson-Robinson's status is in doubt due to potential COVID-19 issues)

Both of these offenses are able to continue to move the chains and this could be a fun shootout. The last time these two teams faced off was 2018 where the Ducks won 42-21 and Thompson-Robinson went 9-of-23 for 135 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also had an 18.5 QBR (scale of 1-100 with 50 being considered average). This game has the potential to be a real fun matchup and let’s dive into some of the most important factors before you decide where to place some units!

(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Saturday morning.)

Line Movements:

The line has moved somewhat as the week has moved on in favor of the home team. Oregon opened the week as a solid 14-point favorite in the contest. They went into Saturday morning favored by 17 points at the majority of sportsbooks. A solid majority, 58 percent, of the bets ATS are backing the Bruins on the road.

The total has moved slightly during the week for this contest. After opening at 63.5 points for the contest, that number now sits at 64 or 64.5 points at the majority of sportsbooks. A majority, 53 percent, of the bets on the total are looking for this one to go over the number.

Game-time Weather: It’s setting up to be a chilly contest up in the Beaver State for this one. Temperatures at kickoff are expected right around 40 degrees with the real-feel in the low-40s under partly sunny skies. The temperature will climb slightly to the mid-40s during the game with no chance of precipitation in the forecast for this contest. Winds are projected from the northwest at six miles per hour with the wind gusts topping out around seven miles per hour.

 

Get Dulcich Involved

In order to have a chance of victory in this game, the Bruins are going to need a big day from their pass-catchers and it all starts at the top. Sophomore tight end Greg Dulcich has been the number one option for Thompson-Robinson and this offense as he has seven catches for 206 yards and a touchdown through the first two games of the year. He has been good this season and if the Bruins want to be successful, they need him to be the Zach Ertz type of tight end to be the blanket for the quarterback.

 

The Ducks have allowed a lot of passing yards for an undefeated team as they are giving up 268.5 passing yards per game. Their defensive line hasn’t applied much pressure to the opposing quarterback as they only recorded a single sack and the defense hasn’t forced an interception through their first two games. For the Bruins, exploit Oregon’s passing defense woes and get going early to pick up momentum to get an upset victory.

UCLA Injury Report:

OUT: DL Martin Andrus Jr., DB Kenny Churchwell III, LB Stiveni Kaufusi, DL Steven Mason

Doubtful: WR Michael Ezekie

Questionable: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson

 

Verdell Needs to Run the Ball Well

The Oregon Ducks are a strong running team as junior running back CJ Verdell is leading the way for the offense. Through two games, he has run the ball 38 times for 223 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. He’s rushed for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in both games this year. The Ducks have one of the best offensive lines in the Pac-12 Conference and Verdell uses that to his advantage while maneuvering in the backfield.

 

The Bruins have allowed 159 rushing yards per game so far this season and are coming off an incredible performance guarding against the run. The California Golden Bears were only able to rush for 54 yards on 28 attempts last week or 1.9 yards per rushing attempt. With the Ducks running for 269 yards per game so far this season, this will be a huge factor in deciding the outcome. If UCLA can win the battle of the trenches throughout this game, they can have a good chance at picking up a road upset win in this game.

Oregon Injury Report:

OUT: S Brady Breeze, WR Daewood Davis, CB Thomas Graham Jr., S Jevon Holland, CB Deommodore Lenoir, WR Mycah Pittman, OL Chris Randazzo, OL Penei Sewell

Doubtful: Steve Stephens IV, TE Spencer Webb

Questionable: TE Patrick Herbert



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