Preview: Washington State vs. UCLA
Washington State (2-7, 0-6); UCLA (7-2, 4-2) Time: 7:30 p.m., Martin Stadium. TV: ESPN2. Radio: 710 ESPN. Line: UCLA by 16. The setup: UCLA controls...
Washington State (2-7, 0-6); UCLA (7-2, 4-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m., Martin Stadium.
TV: ESPN2. Radio: 710 ESPN. Line: UCLA by 16.
The setup: UCLA controls its destiny in the Pac-12 South and needs a win to sustain that. WSU, the only team without a conference win, is playing for pride after a tumultuous several days following a 49-6 loss at Utah.
What to expect: Bruins have been much more explosive than in past years with offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and RS frosh QB Brett Hundley, who completes 68 percent of his passes. Key, though, is RB Johnathan Franklin, who has 1,204 rushing yards and the UCLA career mark of 3,873. Cougars have been completely unable to run, so it comes down to effectiveness passing with senior QB Jeff Tuel.
Key matchup: Franklin vs. WSU LB Darryl Monroe. Franklin averages 6.7 yards per rush and is second in the Pac-12 only to Oregon's Kenjon Barner in rushing yards. Monroe hopes to meet him often.
Notes: Bruins lead the series 39-18-1, and with four straight wins over WSU, have turned around a six-wins-in-seven-games domination by the Cougars from 2001-07. ... Both teams under new coaches this year, a season after Cougars dropped a 25-22 decision in Pasadena after leading by eight in the fourth quarter. ... Bruins are 17th-ranked by AP and 18th in the BCS, first time in the latter since late 2006. ... LB Anthony Barr, playing first season on defense, has 8.5 sacks. ... UCLA has a big weapon in P Jeff Locke, who averages 42.9 and has pinned opponents at or inside their 10-yard line 17 times. ... UCLA has 33 sacks and per-game 3.44 average isn't good news for Cougars, who have allowed national-worst 40 (tied with Colorado). ... Cougars will be without suspended WR Marquess Wilson. ... First time for an ESPN crew in Pullman since 1990, when Bruins beat WSU 30-20. ... Cougars haven't beaten a ranked team in past 20 tries. ... Forecast is for a low of 19 degrees on Dad's Weekend.
Upset brewing? Tall order for Cougars against a hot Bruins team, and it will take a supreme effort to keep WSU hanging around.
Injuries: UCLA — G Greg Capella (concussion), out; CB Marcus Rios (sinus surgery), doubtful; WR Darius Bell (shoulder/rib), probable. WSU — OT Gunnar Eklund (hand), out; S Feddie Davey (leg), out; WR Isiah Myers (concussion), questionable; RB Teondray Caldwell (concussion), probable.
Prediction: UCLA 31, WSU 20.