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Schedule and Odds
Jim Mora turned the Bruins around last year by leading them to a Pac-12 South title and a 9-5 record. Before losing their last three games of the season, UCLA actually had their sights set on 12 wins which no one thought possible entering the season. Now, Mora will have to keep this team moving as a more difficult schedule waits for them in 2013.
UCLA is listed as an 80-1 shot to win the BCS Title and are the 4th choice to win the PAC-10 at odds of 7-1. 5 Dimes Sportsbook also has odds posted for UCLA's first game when they host Nevada on August 31st. UCLA is listed as a -15.5 home favorite in that game.
The good news is that Brett Hundley is only a sophomore and he will only improve. For his first season, Hundley played very well totaling 3,745 yards and 29 TDs. He'll be losing the school's all-time leading rusher in Jonathan Franklin alongside him, but most of the offensive line will return and there should be improvement after allowing 52 sacks in 2012. The RB spot will be hard to fill and it will split between a number of players like Jordon James and Paul Perkins. Hundley's favorite red zone target is gone in tight end Joseph Fauria, but top receiver Shaq Evans is back for his senior year. With an improved QB and offensive line, there's no reason this unit should regress even with the loss of a record-breaking running back.
Defensively they still have plenty of work to do, especially in the secondary where three of their starters are gone. A top recruiting class should help, but this side of the ball could be their downfall once again even though defense is the glaring weakness for many teams in the Pac-12. Still, they gave up 49 points in their bowl game and didn't really stop Stanford in their last two matchups. Some things will have to change if they want to make another Pac-12 title game.
2013 UCLA College Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Nevada
Sept. 14 at Nebraska
Sept. 21 vs. New Mexico State
Oct. 3 at Utah
Oct. 12 vs. California
Oct. 19 at Stanford
Oct. 26 at Oregon
Nov. 2 vs. Colorado
Nov. 9 at Arizona
Nov. 15 vs. Washington
Nov. 23 vs. Arizona State
Nov. 30 at USC
UCLA may improve this year, but their record will most likely be the same or worse. This year they get to travel to Nebraska which could be an added loss to their schedule before conference games start. Plus, they'll get the likes of Stanford, Oregon, Arizona and USC all on the road which is not something you want to see on your schedule.
Nevada won't be an easy opener either, but if they win the games they're favored in, UCLA should start 4-1 before entering a road back-to-back against Stanford and Oregon. While the Bruins beat Arizona by 56 points last year, it's a new year and this time they'll be on the road which isn't an automatic win. They'll finish up the season against their main competitors in the South division getting Arizona State, who they beat 45-43 last year and the always tough Trojans.
If UCLA were to finish with nine regular season wins again, it'll be quite the accomplishment. Their offense will have to be more consistent and their defense will have to make some strides. While people are putting the Bruins in their early Top 25's, this is a team that will likely be headed for eight wins unless they can get a big upset or two.
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