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Thursday Night Football Preview: UCLA vs Utah

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The 2019 Football Recreation season has taken a turn as of late — and both UCLA & Utah need a win

NCAA Football: UCLA at Utah Melissa Majchrzak-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our 2019 recreated season for the UCLA Bruins. That’s because UCLA was graced with two bye weeks in the first five weekends of action ahead of a Thursday Night showdown with Utah.

The Bruins have easily defeated two of their first three opponents, each of a lower level of competition while they lost to their lone Power-5 opponent in Nebraska, to date.

After cruising to victory against Nevada in Week 1, they were given a Week 2 bye and had to travel to the Cornhuskers, where they lost 17-16 against Nebraska in Week 3. Week 4 saw the Bruins topple New Mexico State on the back of a hard-fought second half and were again given another bye in Week 5.

Here’s how they fared the last time we saw them:

The Bruins spotted NMSU a 7-point halftime lead but stormed back with 31 points in the final two quarters to win it big over the Aggies. UCLA took care of NMSU mainly on the back of DTR’s legs that saw him evade pressure on multiple occasions and secure some much-needed yardage.

Stat leaders
Passing: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, 11-20, 191 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks
Rushing: Joshua Kelley, 12 carries, 51 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Demetric Felton, 3 receptions, 84 yards, 41 YAC
Defense: Lokeni Toailoa, 12 tackles, 6 solo, 2 TFL, 1 sack

So, on to Thursday night. UCLA needs a win to prove that they can hang with Power-5/Pac-12 opponents this season after their disappointing result against Nebraska.

Utah, however, needs more than just a win. They enter the game at 1-3 (0-1) and have absolutely disappointed this season. Tyler Huntley has just 613 passing yards in four games and just five touchdowns against three interceptions. Their defense has done them no favors and UCLA should be able to dismantle them on the ground if any past season’s worth of data is an indicator.

Look for a big game from Joshua Kelley and Dorian Thompson-Robinson on the ground as the Utes secondary has still be relatively strong at times.

Here’s how they align from the statistical side of things, entering their Week 6 matchup:

UCLA Stat Leaders:

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB: 32-62, 438 yards, 3 TD, 4 INT
Joshua Kelley, RB: 39 attempts, 232 yards, 2 TD
Demetric Felton, WR/RB: 11 receptions, 155 yards, 0 TD
Tackles: J. Woods (11); INTs: E. Gates (2); Sacks: A. Mafi (2)

Utah Stat Leaders:

Tyler Huntley, QB: 56-120, 613 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT
Zack Moss, RB: 74 attempts, 427 yards, 1 TD
Britain Covey, WR: 18 receptions, 247 yards, 1 TD
Tackles: M. Tafua (13); INTs: J. Blackmon (1); Sacks: T. Carlson (1)

We’ll all see how it goes down on Thursday night!

Go Bruins!

Reminder, this is a fictional take on our recreation of the 2019 NCAA football season using last year’s updated rosters and playing the games in NCAA Football 14 on a Playstation3. For more information, check out our intro story.