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Pregame Guesses: UCLA Bruin football versus Washington Huskies

How will Husky seniors, Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin, fare against a UCLA defense that shows promise, but has been on the field too long. The Bruins have shown some improvement in the penalty department. Will that continue against U-Dub?

NCAA Football: Fresno State at UCLA
Run away! Run away!
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the UCLA Bruin football versus Washington Huskies iteration of Pregame guesses this week. Have we hit rock bottom yet?

All signs point to #10 Washington taking it to the winless Bruins tomorrow, which would be UCLA’s worst on field start since 1943. For some perspective on that fact, please note that 1943 was right during the heart of World War II. Right now, the Bruins are tied with the 1971 squad that started 0-4.

None of that is good. So, two of the three of today’s guesses are going to focus on senior leaders of our opponent, the Washington Huskies, and how those experienced players will perform against Chip Kelly’s youngsters. I predict that the contrast between those Husky veterans and the green UCLA squad will be in stark relief on Saturday night. But, before we get to the guesses, let’s talk (and hopefully listen to) some music.

The last two weeks, PGG’s musical selections have been inspired by community members. This week, UCLA plays a team domiciled in Seattle. This week, I am going to be selfish.

Seattle. That’s the only connection this week. No song meaning related to the despair of the Bruins or their fans. No rallying cry. No “Win One for the Gipper” motivational music. We are playing a team from Seattle. So, I am picking a song I love from a band from Seattle.

I hope that you like it too. Often overlooked on an album of hits, the musical selection this week is “Garden,” from Pearl Jam’s debut 1991 Album “Ten.”

That song just gets me. Like I said, it is a very underrated song on an album full of classic hits.

UCLA is playing one of the premier senior quarterbacks in the nation tomorrow evening in Jake Browning. Because of the unbalanced schedule in the Pac-12, UCLA has only faced Browning once in his career, last season, his junior year. Browning didn’t need to do much last season against the Bruins, as Chris Peterson clearly out-coached Jim L. Mora and ran the ball down UCLA’s throats, to the tune of 55 carries for 333 rushing yards. Washington only threw the ball twelve times. Browning was 8-11, for 98 yards and a pick. This season, he has completed 93 of his 140 passes, for 1,243 yards, and eight touchdowns. How will he fare against the UCLA passing defense. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 1: Predict Jake Browning’s stat line (attempts, completions, yards, and touchdown passes).

Talking about how the UCLA program is depressing right now, I am going with another guess geared toward the Washington Huskies. Myles Gaskin is another senior stud on this Husky team. In his senior year, however, his numbers are a bit down. After averaging 5.7, 5.8, and 6.2 yards per carry in his first three seasons of college ball, Gaskin’s average has dropped to only 4.5 yards per carry in the first four games this year. Will his number fatten up against UCLA’s thin interior linebackers? Remember that Gaskin had 169 yards against UCLA last season on 27 carries. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 2: How many rushing yards will Myles Gaskin gain against UCLA’s defense tomorrow.

Penalties. Let’s talk penalties. The Bruins still have a penalty problem, but one not as egregious as the last few years under Mora. The last three seasons, the Bruins were literally in one of the worst penalized teams in the FBS division of college football. Last season, for example, UCLA was #126 of 129 teams, in the number of penalties (8.2 penalties per game) and penalty yardage (75.2 yards per game). This season UCLA is tied for #98, with 31 penalties over four games (7.75 penalties per game). And the Bruins “only” average 66.50 penalty yards per game (ranked #87 in FBS). That is improvement. Not much improvement, but improvement nonetheless. How will the Bruins fare against the Huskies in the penalty department? PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 3: Predict the number of UCLA penalties on Saturday as well as the penalty yardage against the Bruins.

After seeing UCLA go 6-0 in the Rose Bowl last season (forgot about that didn’t ya?), the Bruins have had lackluster performances at home this season in two losses to teams that most UCLA teams would have beaten. The students are back though. Will they care? Will people come out to see a very good Washington team? BONUS GUESS: Predict the attendance at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

That’s it for this week. Guess away in the comment section.

Go Bruins!