Game Preview: UCLA Bruins @ Oregon Ducks

Game Preview: UCLA Bruins @ Oregon Ducks

No. 2 Oregon looks to remain undefeated this week as the No. 12 UCLA Bruins come to town for a Pac-12 showdown the fans have been waiting for. Oregon continues to absolutely demolish their opponents as they come off a 62-38 win over Washington State; the Bruins, on the other hand, enter this week’s matchup after falling 24-10 to another Pac-12 powerhouse in Stanford. Can the Bruins bounce back from a disappointing performance last week? Or will the Ducks run them out of town just as they have done to every other team that has visited Eugene this season?

AccuScore has the Ducks as solid 88.4 percent favorites to win this matchup. The average score after 10,000 simulations is 55.2 – 28.9. Oregon has a 54.6 percent chance of covering the -22.5 pt spread. Via Odds Shark, Oregon is 4-1 against the spread in its last 5 games at home. Keep in mind, however, that Oregon is 2-4-1 against the spread in its last 7 games vs UCLA.

Projected Leaders

Passing: Marcus Mariota (ORE) 266.3 yds | Brett Hundley (UCLA) 254.1 yds

Rushing: Byron Marshall (ORE) 93.4 yds | Jordon James (UCLA) 64.0 yds

Receiving: Bralon Addison (ORE) 62.1 yds | Shaquelle Evans (UCLA) 56.4 yds | Devin Fuller (UCLA) 56.2 yds

What to Watch For

Looking at the projection data, the probability for UCLA committing multiple turnovers isn’t too much higher than that of Oregon. The visiting team always has to keep their turnovers to a minimum, and it seems that UCLA has done that in the majority of simulations. Offensively, the Bruins may need to depend more on Jordon James than previously expected. He missed the last two games due to an ankle injury; before the injury, he had been averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Stanford held UCLA to just 74 rushing yards on 27 attempts. QB Brett Hundley is coming off of his worst performance of the year so far, one in which he threw 2 TDs. Having a healthy James will help Hundley keep those costly mistakes to a minimum – he’s not even guaranteed to throw 1 INT this week (averaged 0.9 INTs in the 10,000 simulations). Unfortunately for the Bruins, Ducks QB has even less of a probability to throw a pick (averaged 0.5 INTs in the 10,000 simulations).

Assuming they take care of business on offense, UCLA’s only shot at keeping the game close will be to hold the Oregon offense closer to 35-42 points on the night. Heading into this week, the Ducks are averaging nearly 58 points per contest. Having them anywhere over 50 points is an automatic loss. In my opinion, the Bruins need to focus on shutting down WR Josh Huff. Stopping QB Marcus Mariota seems practically impossible, so the only shot at containing the offense is to shut down his weapons. Huff has 627 yards on the season to go along with 6 TDs and 32 receptions. 

Fun Fact

UCLA has outscored their opponents 74-14 in the third quarter so far this season.

Prediction

All the data points to an easy Oregon win and there just isn’t enough proof to go against AccuScore on this one. All folks betting on football – go ahead and use the data listed above to make your decisions. I’ll take the points and UCLA on this one. I don’t think the Ducks cover their 22.5 pt spread. 45-27, Oregon.

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All projection data was provided by AccuScore