Gameday predictions: UCLA vs. Washington
Redshirt senior defensive back Adarius Pickett’s 11.3 tackles per game this season lead UCLA and ranks fourth overall in the Pac-12. The Bruins will need his tackling prowess on Saturday against a dangerous Washington offense averaging 28.8 points per game. (Amy Dixon/Photo editor)
Prediction: Washington 45, UCLA 17
These weekly predictions are getting real repetitive, aren’t they?
Washington is the best Pac-12 team UCLA will face this season so I am not expecting a close game on Saturday, and I am looking forward to hearing coach Chip Kelly and the players say that they are “close” next week.
But in all seriousness, everyone knows this team is not very good.
However, I have been saying for weeks that the team’s record is not a bad thing – and I stand by that. That is why I will be approaching Saturday’s game with a glass-half-full mentality.
Freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson will probably start and face a really good test in the Huskies’ tenth-ranked defense, redshirt junior running back Joshua Kelley will get a chance to build on a breakout performance last week, and the young defense will get more reps against a Heisman-caliber quarterback in Jake Browning and star running back in Myles Gaskin.
If the Bruins do somehow pull of an upset, I think it will be because of redshirt senior defensive back Adarius Pickett. Pickett ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 11.3 tackles per game, and if played in the box, he could be able to slow down Washington’s rushing attack.
It will be interesting to see what the Bruins can do on Saturday regardless of how the final score turns out.
Football beat reporter
Prediction: Washington 35, UCLA 3
On the weekly Pac-12 coaches call, a reporter asked Chip Kelly what was the hardest part of being 0-4.
“Our record,” the UCLA football coach replied.
That answer is half the story – the hardest part of being 0-4 is the combination of the winless record and having to prepare to host a top-10 team in Washington.
True freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson rightfully will be heavily scrutinized following his insipid second half performance against Colorado, but expecting him to perform decently against Washington’s defense is asinine.
I’m predicting that the defense’s performance will be more telling.
In last season’s matchup against UCLA, the Huskies rushed for 333 yards on 5.7 yards per carry. They will likely try to do the same on Saturday, and if the Bruins’ defense is as improved as I think it is, it will give up no more than half of last year’s total.
And if UCLA can register pressure on Jake Browning – a middle-of-the-pack Pac-12 quarterback in terms of talent – a stunning upset could be in the works.
But I know better than to predict miracles, especially for an 0-4 team.
Just a fair warning to all the Bruin fans making the trip out to the Rose Bowl this weekend – this isn’t going to be pretty.
Assistant Sports editor
Prediction: Washington 41, UCLA 17
UCLA is never going to have a chance in this game. The defense is too porous to stand a chance against a great running game and a veteran, winning quarterback in Jake Browning.
And on the other end, the Bruins’ offense has proven to be absolutely anemic so far this season – both at home and on the road. I’m expecting the home-field advantage to be nonexistent, and I highly doubt freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is going to get an energy boost from the crowd this week.
The questions and concerns about Chip Kelly and UCLA have been burning hot these past few weeks, and they won’t be cooling down anytime soon. The Bruins shouldn’t be expected to keep pace with the Huskies, so I hope people don’t take this loss as the final straw.
There is hope for Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins’ offense. It just won’t come to fruition this week.
Prediction: UCLA 19, Washington 18
While I don’t know much about football, never having watched a UCLA football game, I predict a win for UCLA.
UCLA’s colors, UCLA Blue and UCLA Gold are both colors that can serve as a foundation for creating another color: green. Its colors working so well together to create another amazing color may be a representation not only of how UCLA football has built a good foundation to win, but that the team, like the colors they don, will work well together and produce a desirable outcome.
Washington’s colors, purple and gold, combined would make brown, a color that doesn’t produce as desirable an outcome to me as green. Although, individually, its colors, purple and gold, are both among my favorite colors. I can only predict its eye-catching colors, at best, may serve to distract UCLA players on the field, as they do me.