Tuesday, September 25

Gameday predictions: UCLA vs. Cal


In a battle of Bears vs. Bruins, the winner will likely secure a bowl game despite a losing record. After last week's falter to USC, UCLA is still the three-point favorite over Cal in a battle of high-powered offense vs. tough-nosed defense. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff)

In a battle of Bears vs. Bruins, the winner will likely secure a bowl game despite a losing record. After last week's falter to USC, UCLA is still the three-point favorite over Cal in a battle of high-powered offense vs. tough-nosed defense. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff)


Last game, last predictions – we think. UCLA football (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) takes on in-state rival Cal (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale. Last year’s game pitted two of the big name quarterbacks in the Pac-12 against each other, Jared Goff and then-freshman Josh Rosen. The Bruins dominated the Golden Bears at the Rose Bowl 40-24 for the team’s fifth win of 2015.

The current point spread for this game – according to Westgate, BOVADA.ld, SportsBetting.com and BETONLINE.ag – is 3 points, in favor of UCLA.

In the space below, the Daily Bruin’s beat writers for UCLA football – Derrek Li and TuAnh Dam – and guest prediction from assistant Design director Isabelle Roy provide their predictions of how the game will shake out.

TuAnh Dam, Sports editor
UCLA 35, Cal 28

One more game for UCLA means just one more game for me.

And for that, I’m extremely thankful this Thanksgiving weekend.

After a disappointing season with some ups, but mostly downs, the Bruins cap off Pac-12 play against the Cal Golden Bears who are facing similar struggles this season.

Both teams are woefully inconsistent and have a good shot at losing the game more than the other team has of winning the game.

The high-powered Cal offense, which has put up 37.2 points a game behind quarterback Davis Webb, will face off against UCLA’s defense, whose play is one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal season.

The winner has a good shot of getting an invitation to a bowl game with a 5-7 record.

The other will go home and try to forget a rather abysmal 2016 season.

Derrek Li, beat writer
Cal 27, UCLA 17

Well here we are, the potential season finale of a year that started with so much hope. Last year was hard to swallow because UCLA couldn’t get past crosstown rival USC at the end. This year, the end feels like blissful respite. You have to wonder how much fight these Bruins have left in the tank to finish a season filled with twists, turns and disappointment.

That’s not to say Cal isn’t in the same situation. Both teams are sitting on a 4-7 record after suffering losses in their rivalry game last week. Whoever loses Saturday will finish the year 4-8. The winner will sit tight and see if they receive a bowl game bid.

Isabelle Roy, assistant Design director
Cal 21, UCLA 13

OK, I’ll admit it: I’ve been to almost every home football game for the past two seasons and I still have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to the sport. I just skimmed the NFL’s Beginner’s Guide to Football to make sure it sounds like I know what I’m talking about in this prediction.

That being said, I know it’s been a rough season for the Bruins. Our offense has been struggling with Josh Rosen on the bench and I’m not sure we’ll be able to score more than a touchdown or two. I’m also counting on UCLA scoring at least two field goals because I think freshman kicker and fellow French Canadian JJ Molson is very cute and I want him to do well.

My crush on Molson doesn’t exceed my lack of confidence in the Bruins’ ability to win, though. Even with Cal on a four-game losing streak, I can’t picture the season ending any way besides another close loss. At least we have basketball.

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