Welcome to this week's installment of Pregame Guesses. What looks at first blush like an easy victory over the Oregon State Beavers, who are winless in the PAC 12, will likely be a bit trickier for the Bruins. The Beavers probably would have beaten Colorado at home two weeks ago if starting QB, Nick Collins, didn't get knocked out the game. OSU kept it respectable against Utah in Salt Lake City last weekend, falling 27-12, even though they were missing several key players. So they are not quite as bad as their 2-6 record might suggest. And it is still predicted to be cold and rainy on Saturday Who knows what to expect from UCLA in potentially inclement weather?
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An "offensive explosion" in football is a barrage of scoring in a short period of time. A very, very good thing. Conversely, "exploding on defense" has an opposite connotation, IMHO, especially where collectively talking about a defensive unit (as opposed to one defensive player "blowing up" a dude on offense). To me "exploding" in a collective fashion on defense is "falling apart" on defense, allowing teams to move up and down the field without any resistance. A hot knife through butter.
In this sense, either UCLA's offensive could "blow up" tomorrow in a good sense, like against Cal or Arizona; or its defense could "blow up" in a bad way, like it did against Stanford or even Colorado.
And so, somewhat appropriately, this week's song is "What Goes Boom" by "The Pixies."
This question could be asked of the UCLA offense and the UCLA defense tomorrow. What goes boom?
This song is only a couple of years old, even though the Pixies had their heyday in the late 80s and early 90s. The sound of it certainly hearkens back to their sound in those days. Legendary bassist (and back up vocalist for The Pixies), Kim Deal, is gone, but the band that inspired Kurt Cobain can still alt rock with the best of them. It's just that their fans are TOO OLD to mosh anymore!
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Pregame guess number one is based on the theme of the UCLA offense or UCLA defense going boom. Which will it be? PREGAME GUESS NUMBER ONE: What number will be higher? The total number of yards UCLA gains from scrimmage or the number of yards that the UCLA defense concedes?
Last week, in the preview of Colorado's offense, I described Colorado Buffalo player, Donovan Lee, as a Percy Harvin-type player. Lee, who is listed as a receiver, had 13 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes. The Oregon State Beavers appear to have a similar player: Victor Bolden. Bolden has 26 carries for 153 yards. He also has 33 receptions for 282 yards receiving and two receiving touchdowns. That's 59 touches for 435 yards, and average of over 7 yards per touch. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 2: True of false? UCLA holds Bolden to less than 80 combined rushing and receiving yards and Bolden does not find the end zone.
Weather is likely to be a factor in this game. I am not sure that Josh Rosen has ever played in a game where it is 54 degrees and raining. How will the weather affect Josh's game? Josh is averaging 279 yards per game and is completing 61 % of his passes. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 3: Adjusting for the weather, will Rosen rack up 225 passing yards and complete 55% of his passes?
BONUS QUESTION: If your answer to Pregame Guess Number 3 is "no," does UCLA win the game?
I hope that you enjoyed this week's Pregame Guesses. Add your guesses and thoughts into the comment section below.