A pair of teams from the Pac-12 clash on the gridiron looking to remain unbeaten as they square off in one of the most famous venues in college football. The #15 Washington Huskies try to continue their resurgence as they travel to face the UCLA Bruins Friday night. Washington remained unbeaten as they drubbed Stanford 40-22 at home Saturday in their most recent contest, covering as a 13.5-point favorite. UCLA cruised to an easy 45-17 road victory over a hapless Colorado squad in their most recent game on Saturday. In the all-time series between the programs, the Bruins own a 41-32-2 advantage, including a 24-17 road victory in the most recent matchup on October 16, 2021.
Washington Huskies Look to Remain UnbeatenWashington took care of business as they clobbered Stanford to run their record to 4-0 for first-year coach Kaleb DeBoer, who had changed the culture of the program. The Huskies are 1-0 in Pac-12 action and look to maintain their momentum as they make the trip down the west coast here. Against Stanford, Washington jumped to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter and didn’t look back. After the Cardinal cut the deficit to 10 at the half, the Huskies outscored Stanford 13-0 in the third quarter to put the game away. Washington held a 478-372 edge in total offense, picked up 23 first downs while allowing 18, owned a 33:30 to 26:30 advantage in time of possession and forced three turnovers while not committing one in the contest.
This season, the Huskies are 1st in the nation in passing offense with 368.8 yards per game through the air while they are 66th in rushing offense with 162 yards per contest. Washington is 12th in the FBS in scoring offense with 44 points per game and stand 35th in scoring defense by allowing an average of 19 points per contest.
Michael Penix Jr., former Indiana quarterback, has completed 92 of 143 passes for 1,388 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception while adding 26 yards on the ground. Dylan Morris (four of eight, 63 yards) and Sam Huard (two of two, 24 yards) have seen limited work as well. Wayne Taulapapa leads the team on the ground with 48 carries for 307 yards and three scores this season. Cameron Davis (35 carries, 157 yards, four scores), Richard Newton (15 carries, 72 yards) and Will Nixon (16 carries, 67 yards, two TD) have had their share of work as well. In the passing game, Jalen McMillan leads the team with 21 receptions for 367 yards and three scores this season. Ja’Lynn Polk (13 grabs, 256 yards, four TD), Giles Jackson (13 catches, 175 yards) and Rome Odunza (18 catches, 293 yards, two TD) are all over the 150-yard mark in receiving yards. Peyton Henry has hit all 21 extra points and seven of seven field goal attempts with a long of 47 this season.
UCLA Bruins Try to Pick Up Upset Victory vs. Ranked FoeUCLA remained unbeaten as they shook off a near-defeat to South Alabama by obliterating Colorado on the road in their most recent contest. The Bruins ran their mark to 4-0 on the season overall and stand 1-0 in conference play though this is a major step up in competition. Against the Buffaloes, UCLA led 14-0 after the opening quarter and cruised the rest of the way as their lead never dropped below 11 over the final three quarters. The Bruins rolled up a commanding 515-309 edge in total offense, picked up a 25-19 advantage in first downs and forced the game’s only two turnovers. Those numbers helped offset the fact that UCLA lost time of possession by a 34:07 to 25:53 margin.
The Bruins enter this game 30th in the FBS in passing offense with an average of 287.8 yards per game through the air. UCLA is 17th in the country in rushing offense by averaging 220.5 yards per contest on the ground. The Bruins average 41.8 points per game, which is 20th in the FBS in scoring offense. Meanwhile, UCLA’s defense ranks 29th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 18 points per contest.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson has completed 80 of 107 passes for 896 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception. He adds 170 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. Ethan Garbers (20 of 28, 255 yards, two TD, INT) and Chase Griffin (zero of one) have seen mop-up duty this season. Zach Charbonnet leads the team on the ground with 43 carries for 293 yards plus four scores this season. Keegan Jones (40 carries, 178 yards, TD) and TJ Harden (20 carries, 121 yards, TD) are solid secondary backs in the system. Kazmeir Allen (20 receptions, 152 yards, TD) and Jake Bobo (15 catches, 221 yards, TD) are the only players for UCLA with more than eight grabs. They have spread the ball already as 10 players have at least six receptions so far this year. Nicholas Barr-Mira has booted all 18 extra point attempts and seven of nine field goal attempts with a long of 49 this season. Joseph Firebaugh Jr. has connected on a pair of extra point attempts without attempting a field goal on the year.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is going to be a major clash to end the month of September and could send ripples through the Pac-12. Both teams have been dominant in the opening month of the season as Washington’s closest margin of victory was 11 points in their win over Michigan State. Meanwhile, while UCLA sputtered to get past South Alabama, their other three wins have come by a combined total of 135-41. UCLA gets a slight edge for being the more balanced offensive attack but the Huskies have the nation’s top passing offense. Washington also boasts a pretty stingy defense, which, coupled with a tougher slate of opponents to open the year, gives them the confidence to go on the road. Look for the Huskies to pick up a tough win on the road to run their mark to 5-0 on the season.
Full-Game Total Pick
Washington has gone over in all four games this season and six of their last seven dating back to last year. The Huskies have seen totals of 65 points (vs. Kent State), 58 (vs. Portland State), 67 (vs. Michigan State) and 62 (vs. Stanford) this season. Those games had totals of 62.5, 55, 56 and 61.5 points at kickoff so the game against the Cardinal just squeaked over the mark. UCLA has gone over the number in three of their four games this season. The Bruins posted combined totals of 62 (vs. Bowling Green), 52 (vs. Alabama State), 63 (vs. South Alabama) and 62 (at Colorado) in their contests. Those totals came against totals of 56.5, 62, 59 and 57 points, respectively. We saw the over hit in four straight meetings before combining for just 41 points last season. This game has the makings of a contest where both teams end up in the mid-to-high 30s in a shootout, pushing this game over the number.