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Pregame Guesses: UCLA Bruins Host Colorado Buffaloes

Lots of variables could affect this game between 3-5 teams. The Buffs’ ubiquitous Steven Montez, the respective defenses (or lack thereof), and Colorado’s pass protection could be important factors in this #Pac12AfterDark game.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at UCLA
UCLA’s Krys Barnes
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins football team (3-5, 3-2 Pac-12) has won two straight games and Bruin confidence might be at its highest point in the Chip Kelley era. Next up: the Bruins have a winnable game versus Colorado (3-5, 1-4 Pac-12), which has lost its last four games.

Last week was a very upbeat Ziggy Marley track after UCLA’s win versus Stanford, getting that monkey of the Bruins’ backs. UCLA football winning games means more happy songs. So here we go again, after the ASU victory, and this time it’s another upbeat song. I choose Tom Petty’s “American Girl.”

Again, nothing too deep here. Just an upbeat tune that reflects the positive vibes of a two-game UCLA winning streak, after many thought the Bruins would be a one-win wonder in 2019.

On to the Guesses . . .

Steven Montez, Colorado’s senior quarterback, feels like an eight -year starter. I mean, how long indeed has Montez called the signals for the Buffs? Since 2016, it appears. But it sure seems longer. It seems like he’s been there since the Neuheisel years.

Colorado’s fifth-year senior QB has thrown for 2,047 yards this season and 13 touchdown passes in eight games. That’s just below a 256 yards passing per game average. Will Montez feast on the UCLA secondary? Or will the Bruins play like they did against Stanford and Arizona State? Montez has a lot of senior poise. This is a two part question. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 1: How many yards will Montez throw for? How many passing TDs will Montez register versus the Bruins?

UCLA’s defense has not been something to write home about so far this season. There has, however, been improvement over the last two games.

Now, the Bruins’ offense actually faces a defense that is statistically worse than the UCLA defense. Colorado is #125 (of of 130 teams) in total defense this season, giving up an average of 486.9 yards per game this year. The Bruins are ranked #112 and give up 450.1 per game. PGG is a two-parter. PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 2: Which defense will concede more yards tomorrow? Will that team also win the game?

This final guess is linked to how you think Montez might do versus the Bruins. The Colorado offensive line is among the top-ranked teams in the nation in protecting the QB, allowing only ten sacks on the season in eight games. After a slow start to the season, the UCLA pass rush is tied for #65 in the nation, recording 17 total sacks, an average of 2.13 sacks per game. Can the Bruins get to Montez? The Bruins had seven sacks versus Stanford, but only one versus Arizona State. Which will be a more true reflection of the UCLA pass rush tomorrow?

PREGAME GUESS NUMBER 3: I am setting the line at two UCLA sacks. Are you taking the over or the under?

BONUS GUESS : UCLA has won two straight games and finally came on out on top at home. Will this bring in the fans? 39,811 attended last week. Ugh. Predict the attendance at the Rose Bowl.

That’s it for this week. Give us your guesses in the comment section.

Go Bruins!