What can we expect from tonight's game?
Both teams average an identical 32.5 points a game. Defensively, UCLA has allowed a slightly better 25.1 ppg to Nebraska's 27.8 ppg. Advantage: UCLA but just barely.
At QB, UCLA rests easy with Josh Rosen at the helm. Rosen has passed for 3351 yards, 20 TDs, 9 Ints, and a 59.5 completion percentage. Tommy Armstrong has passed for 2856 yars, 21 TDs, 16 Ints, and a 54.8 Completion percentage. Advantage UCLA. Or is it? Both QBs have very similar stats if not for all the interceptions Armstrong threw. If he can play a solid game and iron out those poor decisions, it could be a wash at the QB position. Also, Armstrong is a scrambler. He is their third leading rusher with 324 yards on 88 carries and 6 TDs. IMHO this one is a wash.
In the rushing game, Paul Perkins leads the Bruins with 1275 yards on 225 carries and 13 TDs. Terrell Newby leads the Cornhuskers with 743 yards on 143 carries and 5 TDs. Looking at the bigger picture, UCLA averages 186.8 rushing yards per game to Nebraska's 167.8 ypg. So, clearly advantage UCLA. BUT!! we coming into the game banged up on the offensive line and we just lost Alex Redmond before the game. Say what you will about his face paint and avoidable mistakes during games, he was a healthy body, and we're going to miss him tonight.
On the flanks, Jordan Payton leads the Bruins with 1,069 yards, on 75 receptions, and 4 TDs. Jordan Westerkamp leads the Huskers with 874 yards on 63 receptions, and 7 TDs. That being said, we also have Thomas Duarte with 820 yards on 49 receptions and 10 TDs. Brandon Reilly lends support for the Husker passing game with 716 yards on 37 receptions and 4 TDs. Advantage: UCLA
Defensively, UCLA allows 394 ypg, while Nebraska allows 402 ypg. Very similar. UCLA has 900 tackles, 27 sacks and 12 Interceptions for the season. Nebraska has 745 tackles, 24 sacks and 8 Interceptions on the season. Advantage UCLA.
Just looking at the numbers, we are the clear favorites. On paper, we are better than the Huskers in ever aspect of the game. We have played a harder schedule (according to RPI) than the Huskers, and we came away with a better record.
So why do I feel so uneasy about tonight? Is it because Mike Riley beat Jim Mora the one and only time they faced off? (Mora had the better team that time, too.) Or is it because Noel Mazzone is still roaming the sidelines? Could it be both?
It doesn't really matter. Game time is here.
Listen to the game live with the U.C.L.A. announcers Bill Roth, Matt, Stevens, and Wayne Cook using the TuneIn app below: