Primetime College Football: Bruins vs Ducks
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the University of California Los Angeles Bruins taking on the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene.
Head coach Rick Neuheisel takes his Bruins up to Autzen Stadium 3-3 overall but just 1-2 in Pac-10 play. The Bruins are coming off another thrashing last week, which has been far to familiar during Neuheisel’s tenure, against California 35-7 on the road. The Bruins have no passing game to really speak of as they rank 118th in the nation with 95 yards per game.
The weak passing attack the Bruins put on display is handled by sophomore quarterback Kevin Prince, 384 yards 3 touchdowns 5 INTs, who averages 4.09 yards per completion and is on completing 44.7 percent of his throws. Prince however left the California game with a knee injury before the game was over and his status is uncertain. If he isn’t healthy to play the Bruins will go with sophomore quarterback Richard Brehaut, 189 yards 1 INT, who has 38 pass attempts on the year.
UCLA does have better success on the ground as their rushing attack is turning out 223 yards per game thanks to an impressive average of 5.2 yards per carry. Of the 16 touchdowns scored by the offense this season, 13 have come on the ground. Sophomore running back Johnathan Franklin, 679 yards 5 touchdowns, leads the way, while junior Derrick Coleman, 332 yards 4 touchdowns, has been productive as well as he is averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
Defensively opponents are generating 25 points per game and is allowing almost the same number of rushing yards per game of 182.3 as passing yards 187.5.
Head coach Chip Kelly is a perfect 6-0 and every victory has come by double figures. The Ducks are backed by Heisman Trophy hopeful and ALL-SGE-NCAA Team member LaMichael James, 848 yards 9 touchdowns, who is averaging 7.4 yards per carry. As tremendous as James has been once again, this year he hasn’t had to do it all by himself as the Ducks have the play of sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas, 1231 yards 14 touchdowns 5 INTs, and has rushed for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns. However Thomas is only completing 58.8 percent of his passes but does look for wide receiver senior Jeff Maehl, 423 yards 5 touchdowns, when he does go to the air.
While the Oregon offense gets most of the media attention, the team’s defense has certainly help up its end of the bargain. The Ducks are allowing only 16 points per game and 338.5 total yards per game. The success of the defense is due the ability to generate turnovers, as Oregon has posted 12 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Sophomore defensive back Cliff Harris has four interceptions and junior safety Eddie Pleasant leads the Ducks with 33 total tackles.
The Bruins owns the all-time series with a 39-24 advantage between the two schools but Oregon has won seven of the past nine against UCLA. The Bruins are just 4-10 all-time against top-ranked teams and hasn’t defeated one since the 1976 Rose Bowl against Ohio State.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks