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UCLA vs. California

Betting Line: Cal -8 o/u 48.5

10/9/10

 

Few teams started the reason as hot as Cal did. After starting the season 2-0 outscoring their opponents 104-10 and looking good doing it they made a trip to Nevada where they were really exposed by a solid Nevada team 52-31. They really needed to bounce back last week against a very good Arizona team, but they came up just short losing 10-9. After opening up Pac 10 play 0-1 this game against instate rival UCLA becomes even more important and should play a big role in what kind of season the Bears have.

UCLA started their season the exact opposite compared to Cal. UCLA lost their opening two games to Kansas State 31-22 and were shutout by Stanford 35-0. After those two games it looked like UCLA was in big trouble especially offensively, but the Houston game was the start of their turn around. After getting a win against the Cougars the Bruins went down to Austin, TX and completely put it on the Longhorns winning 34-12 racking up 264 yards rushing. After that huge win UCLA they had every reason to come out flat against Washington State, but they went in took care of business and now they have a chance to prove to the rest of the Pac 10 that they will have a say in the outcome of the Pac 10 title.

KEY MATCHUP

It is no coincidence that when UCLA RB Jonathan Franklin started to get at least 20 carries a game that this whole team turned things around. In their first two losses he carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards against Kansas State and 11 times for 73 yards against Stanford and was unable to find the end zone in either game. UCLA is going to run the ball right at you no matter what. They know teams are expecting it now, but they continue to have success. They have found their identity establishing the run, controlling the clock, and shortening the game. Their QB Kevin Prince's main job is to get the ball to their RBs and not turn the ball over. He plays a role similar to Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt plays. He is a threat with his arm, but has been asked to use his legs as much if not more. Cal is going to have their hands full with this rushing attack, but Cal is no slouch when it comes to rush defense. They are ranked 3rd in the Pac 10 allowing 126 yards a game on the ground, but they will have one of their biggest tests of the season this Saturday.  

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THE FINAL VERDICT

The yards per point numbers here are even. Both teams are a 15 on defense, which is mediocre, with Cal weighing in at 11 on offense with 13 on offense for UCLA. Both teams have found the end zone without much trouble this year. But the Cal numbers defensively are deceiving. They gave up 52 points to Nevada but just 3, 7 and 10 in their other 3 games.

But with the number as high as Cal -8, we think there's enough room here for UCLA. UCLA held Houston and Texas to just 13 and 12 points. It looks like defense will play a big role in this one, keeping the game tight and the score low. UCLA also has the added motivation of double revenge after losing by 20 points in each of their last two games against Cal. Two recommendations here.

UCLA +8 and UCLA/Cal Under 48.5

 

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