No. 10 Oregon Ducks (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) vs. No. 9 UCLA Bruins (6-0, 3-0)
When: 12:30 pm (Pacific Time) Saturday, October 22
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene
Trainers: Dan Lanning, freshman (5-1); Chip Kelly, fifth year (69-32 overall; 23-25 at UCLA)
Last line: Oregon by 6.5
Television channel: FOX
In the air: Radio on 1080 “The Fan” in Portland, KUGN-AM 590 in Eugene
How to watch live stream online: You may watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (Free Trial). You can also get this game at sling tv (promotional offers) if you don’t have trials of fuboTV, or just prefer those platforms and their pricing plans. You can also watch this game live on FOX Sports Live with your cable or satellite provider’s login information.
What is at stake: Unique possession of first place in the Pac-12. For Oregon, it would be the best win they can get during the regular season, keep control of their quest to play for the conference championship and provide a boost to their slim chances of reaching the College Football Playoff. For UCLA, it would be the signature victory of the Chip Kelly era, though he would still have a losing record during his time at Westwood. The Bruins would be a virtual lock to go to Las Vegas for the conference title game and gain immediate legitimacy for the CFP and be in the national spotlight for the rest of the season, with only the crossover matchup with USC as a major hurdle for a 12-0 regular season. The Heisman Trophy candidacies of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Zach Charbonnet and Bo Nix also depend on a strong performance on the big stage.
Oregon offense vs. UCLA defense
One of the strength-versus-strength matchups, Oregon’s rushing attack is the best UCLA has seen and UCLA’s rushing defense is second only to UO in the Pac-12. The Bruins have been less stingy against better teams and the Ducks have the best offensive line in the conference and paved the way for five rushing touchdowns against the Bruins last season, though the forward seven and defensive coordinator have changed. Laiatu Latu is the most prolific pass-rusher Oregon will face in the Pac-12 game.
Even if it rains, Bo Nix should be able to complete at a high pace against UCLA’s zone defense. Look for playmakers in the space to test the Bruins. Deep shots will be harder to come by, but if UCLA is forced to be more aggressive, Nix and Troy Franklin should have an advantage over the Bruins’ secondary.
Oregon defense vs. UCLA offense
The Ducks stop the run better than anyone in the Pac-12, regardless of the caliber of competition. They will be tested in a big way by Charbonnet, who they cracked down on well last season. But Kayvon Thibodeaux also did a clinic in that game and is long gone.
UCLA’s offense is so effective because it has stayed ahead of schedule. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is one of the nation’s most accurate first-down passers, completing more than 80% of his passes with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. As a result, the Bruins are third in the most manageable downs and fourth in the country in conversion rate. Thompson-Robinson also relies less on his legs on the third down this season because of the shorter distances, which leads to less pressure, fewer errors, easier decisions and fewer hits at the QB. Oregon’s third-down defense is a dazzling Achilles’ heel that only Georgia has poorly exploited so far. UCLA needs to do the same to win and Oregon needs to get off the field to avoid a loss.
did you know
- The last time UCLA played a top 10 team on the road was October 10, 1998, when they won at No. 10 Arizona.
Matchup to watch: Oregon’s Bo Nix, Dan Lanning and Kenny Dillingham vs. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Chip Kelly and Bill McGovern of UCLA
The game of chess in the game between the head coaches and the opposing coordinators will be fascinating. Known for his variety of staff groups, movement, tricks and rhythm, Kelly is putting Thompson-Robinson in a position to succeed. Lanning’s defense hasn’t been elite in any respect outside of his ability to stop the run. Dillingham and Nix are generating impressive results but haven’t faced a great defense in terms of results and talent since the start of the season. Which combination of coaches and quarterbacks creates the most big plays will likely determine the outcome.
They said it: “When they handle the ball that well, people are going to load up the box and tend to leave more free-access opportunities out. They do a good job in the screen game, but (Thompson-Robinson) also hit some longer shots in the last couple of games. So he is in sync. He is playing at a very high level right now, because he is in sync. He knows where he goes with the ball and he doesn’t put it in bad areas”. — Dan Lanning, Oregon coach
UCLA is 17-9 under Chip Kelly when he has a 100-yard rusher, including 4-0 this season. Oregon has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season, but has lost three straight when he has.
Prediction: Oregon 35, UCLA 28
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