The college football season in 2022’s week 8 has some outstanding matchups. Perhaps none are more significant than a pivotal Pac-12 matchup between UCLA and Oregon. The winner will have a front-row seat to the conference title as both teams enter this contest unbeaten in conference play. It’s a good idea to make some bold predictions because this should be the college football game of the week.
There are many incredible narratives that go along with this game. Bo Nix of Oregon and Dorian Thompson-Robinson of UCLA will compete for the Heisman Trophy. This season’s first College Gameday trip to the west coast highlights how crucial this game is. Chip Kelly, the head coach of the Boston Bruins, will also visit Oregon, where he helped the Ducks to a 46-7 record over the course of four seasons.
Being one of the final unbeaten teams in the nation, UCLA has been one of the more unexpected teams this season. The Bruins have moved up to eighth in the AP rankings after two back-to-back dominating victories over Washington and Utah. Oregon, meanwhile, has improved to tenth in the nation after winning five straight games following a humbling loss to Georgia in the season opener.
Both clubs have had bye weeks and will be prepared for this matchup. Without further ado, let’s get started with some daring predictions for UCLA’s game against Oregon on Saturday.
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3. The Bruins sack Bo Nix twice
Nix has been simply on fire since a poor performance in the season opener. The Auburn transfer quarterback has passed for more than 1,300 yards, 12 touchdowns, and one interception in his previous five games. Even now, Nix is a contender for Heiman, with the 10th-best odds to win it, per FanDuel Sportsbook.
Nix has performed admirably, but his offensive line also deserves praise. The Ducks have given up the fewest sacks in the nation this season with just one. With an average of 241.7 yards per game, the offensive line has also helped the Ducks’ running attack become the best in the conference.
With 15 sacks this season, UCLA has had some success getting to the quarterback. With 6.5 sacks, second-most in the Pac-12, junior linebacker Laiatu Latu has been the highlight of the pass rush for the Bruins. Carl Jones Jr. and Grayson Murphy have each contributed well, recording three and two sacks, respectively.
The offensive line of Oregon, which even prevented Georgia from getting a sack, will be a challenging opponent for UCLA’s pass rush. But if the Bruins can figure it out, they stand a good chance of taking the match.
2. Dorian Thompson-Robinson scores three total touchdowns
DTR, or Thompson-Robinson, has upped his game significantly this season. One of the best quarterbacks in the nation, the UCLA quarterback has completed over 75% of his throws for 1,510 yards, 15 touchdowns, and only two interceptions so far this season. He has also been outstanding when rushing the ball, racking up 231 yards and four touchdowns.
DTR has been a touchdown machine this season, scoring more than once in every game but one. He still managed to throw for a touchdown in that one game, and the Bruins defeated Alabama State 45-7.
Although powerful this season, Oregon’s defence has also demonstrated certain weaknesses. The Ducks allow more than 275 yards passing a game while having the best rushing defence in the Pac-12. Additionally, at 28.8 points allowed per game, their scoring defence is below average.
DTR has contributed to UCLA’s two prior victories, scoring nine touchdowns combined in games against Washington and Utah. This will be his first significant road test of the year, but he ought to be capable. He’ll likely score three touchdowns on Saturday afternoon.
1. UCLA asserts itself as the class of the Pac-12 with an upset win
Despite both teams seeming evenly matched on paper, Oregon comes into this matchup as a significant advantage. The Ducks are a 6.5-point betting favourite and have a 71.5% chance of winning according to ESPN’s football power index.
It seems a little disrespectful to the Bruins in that sentence. UCLA has looked solid while registering two straight significant victories over elite opponents. The Ducks, on the other hand, have only had one rated victory all season, a 41-20 triumph over BYU in Week 3. They suffered one of their worst losses in school history in their lone other ranked game this season.
Kelly should also be carrying a grudge upon his return to Eugene. He will be eager to lead the Bruins to yet another memorable victory this year. By winning this match, UCLA will establish themselves as the clear favourite to win the Pac-12.
UCLA football: 3 audacious Bruins predictions for Pac-12 showdown vs. Oregon first appeared on ClutchPoints.