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#15 Washington State Cougars @ UCLA Bruins Preview




The Washington State Cougars (4-0 overall 1-0 Pac 12) will travel to Los Angeles, CA to take on the UCLA Bruins (3-1 overall 0-1 Pac 12). This will be the last game as conference foes between the Cougars and Bruins because starting in 2024 UCLA will be a member of the Big Ten Conference. As of now the status of Washington State in a conference is unknown for 2024.


BROADCAST INFORMATION:


- 3:00 PM Eastern Time Kickoff on The Pac 12 Network

- Ted Robinson and Yogi Roth will be on the call for The Pac 12 Network.

- On the Washington State side the radio broadcast will be on FM 104.3. On the UCLA side, the radio broadcast will be on AM 570 and AM 1150.


WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Washington State is ranked #15 in the College Football Dawgs Top 25 Poll and the Cougars are trying to remain undefeated. For UCLA the Bruins are trying to get their first conference win of the season. Despite being in the same conference, the Cougars and Bruins have met only three times in the last 10 years with Washington State winning in 2015 and 2016 while UCLA won the last game in 2019. As previously stated, this will be the last conference game for these teams as members of the Pac-12. Washington State may be playing with a conference-sized chip on their shoulder as they, along with Oregon State have been left without a seat in the NCAA version of conference realignment musical chairs.


KEY PLAYERS - Washington State Cougars:


QB Cameron Ward – Washington State; 74.6 completion percentage, 1,390 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. 109 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns.

WR Lincoln Victor – Washington State; 24 catches for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Key Players - UCLA Bruins:


QB Dante Moore – UCLA; 54.7 completion percentage, 849 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. Sacked 10 times, a true freshman.

EDGE Laiatu Latu – UCLA; 13 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble.


KEY MATCHUPS:


Washington State offensive line against UCLA defensive lineman Laiatu Latu. Cameron Ward has been sacked eight times this season, but he has dropped back to pass 150 times for a 5.6% sack rate. Latu leads the Bruins with four sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. The Bruins defense has 15 sacks so far in 2023.


The UCLA run game against the Washington State front seven. Typical Chip Kelly offense, which means a very good run game. The Bruins will rely on the run game with true freshman Dante Moore getting the start at quarterback. Running backs Carson Steele and TJ Harden have combined for 536 yards and four touchdowns. Washington State’s defense only surrenders 132 rushing yards per game.


PREDICTION:

This will be a GREAT game, high scoring, my favorite! Washington State is averaging an amazing 406.0 passing yards per game. UCLA’s run game will control the clock but will need to score touchdowns and not kick field goals. I trust Cameron Ward way more than I trust Dante Moore and the UCLA run game. Washington State wins, 43-31.

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