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College Hotline - Pac-12 football: UCLA game-by-game predictions for 2016

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 24, 2016.

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    UCLA will be one of the most interesting teams in the conference, not merely because of mega-talent Josh Rosen and the roster brimming with potential but because of coach Jim Mora’s mid-tenure course alteration.

    He has commitment to a more physical approach — an approach that’s closer to the Stanford (and Nebraska) style of play than anything the Bruins have displayed to date under Mora.

    If it works, not only in the head-to-head against Stanford but week after week, then who knows: Maybe other teams will adopt a power-oriented structure.

    But Bruins, beware: Lifting more weights and consuming more protein shakes don’t make teams more physical. Physical football is an existence. It’s how you recruit and practice and call plays and train and think.

    The worst scenario for any program is to waffle … to lack an identity. Stanford and Oregon have dominated the league this decade because, more than any other programs, they know who they are, how they want to play and what it takes to get there.

    Let’s see how it plays out in Westwood this season. Let’s see if Mora and the Bruins are all in, or all talk.

    This much is clear: With no Washington, no Oregon and most of the tough games at home, the schedule is lined up in UCLA’s favor.


    Coach: Jim Mora
    Season: Fifth
    Record: 37-16
    Win totals by season: 9-10-10-8
    Job security:
    Would survive a collapse, if only because the Bruins won’t buy him with five years left.
    Notable: Mora is 0-7 against Stanford and Oregon, with an average margin of defeat of 16.7 points.

    *** Previous installments:

    Arizona predictions
    Arizona State predictions
    Oregon State predictions
    Oregon predictions
    Colorado predictions
    Utah predictions
    Cal predictions
    Stanford predictions

    Here we go …

    Sept. 3: at Texas A&M
    Result: Win
    Record: 1-0
    Comment: Heisman hype, meet Josh Rosen.

    Sept. 10: vs. UNLV
    Result: Win
    Record: 2-0
    Comment: It’s over early. (Actually, it’s over before it starts.)

    Sept. 17: at Brigham Young
    Result: Win
    Record: 3-0
    Comment: Can’t get any closer than last year and won’t be. Bruins in charge early and hold the advantage.

    Sept. 24: vs. Stanford
    Result: Win
    Record: 4-0/1-0
    Comment: UCLA’s defense is the difference against Stanford’s TBD rookie quarterback playing on the road for the first time.

    Oct. 1: vs. Arizona
    Result: Win
    Record: 5-0/2-0
    Comment: As the wins mount, complacency creeps in. Closer than expected.

    Oct. 8: at Arizona State
    Result: Win
    Record: 6-0/3-0
    Comment: Bruins head back on the road, which is a good thing. Also good: That ASU’s in freefall.

    Oct. 15: at Washington State
    Result: Loss
    Record: 6-1/3-1
    Comment: First road game against a top-tier foe shows that, contrary to popular belief on campus, the Bruins aren’t quite the reincarnation of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.

    Oct. 22: vs. Utah
    Result: Win
    Record: 7-1/4-1
    Comment: Loss in Pullman provides chance to recalibrate, and a new winning streak emerges.

    Oct. 29: Bye
    Comment: Mora spends bye week showing players lowlights from their narrow ’15 victory over Colorado, urges them to take Buffs seriously.

    Nov. 3: at Colorado (Thursday)
    Result: Win
    Record: 8-1/5-1
    Comment: Player don’t take Buffs seriously, but Rosen is too much down the stretch and UCLA escapes.

    Nov. 12: vs. Oregon State
    Result: Win
    Record: 9-1/6-1
    Comment: Worth repeating: No Washington, no Oregon and only one road game against a contender (WSU).

    Nov. 19: vs. USC
    Result: Loss
    Record: 9-2/6-2
    Comment: Smack in the playoff hunt, the Bruins find a way to blow their big chance. (“I knew this would happen,” says every UCLA fan.)

    Nov. 26: at Cal
    Result: Win
    Record: 10-2/7-2
    Comment: Considering giving the Bruins a loss here, but with division title at stake, Rosen will find a way.

    Coming next: The Washington schools.

    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    The post Pac-12 football: UCLA game-by-game predictions for 2016 appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner
     

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