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UCLA vs. Cal Prediction, Game Preview

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UCLA vs. Cal prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Bruins and Golden Bears.


When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California
TV Broadcast: ESPN 2

UCLA (4-7) has seen its season go in quite a different direction than it was expecting. The Bruins did manage to snap their four-game losing streak two weeks ago when they took down Oregon State, 38-24. But on Saturday, UCLA was right back to its losing ways when it fell to rival USC, 36-14.

Cal (4-7) is in a similar boat to the one the Bruins are in, only riding a longer losing streak. Sonny Dykes’ team has dropped its last four games. Its most recent loss came at home versus Stanford, 45-31.

UCLA holds the edge in the all-time series, 52-32-1. The Bruins have taken the last three meetings with the Golden Bears, including last season’s 40-24 win in Pasadena.

What To Know About UCLA

Mike Fafaul had an average showing against USC, having completed 15-of-31 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns were caught by Jordan Lasley, which were his only two catches for 63 total yards. Darren Andrews added six receptions for 62 yards.

On the ground, UCLA had trouble running the ball as it has all season long. Bolu Olorunfunmi took five carries for 20 yards, and Jalen Starks took his six carries for 20 yards. As a team, the Bruins ran for 55 yards on 19 attempts and never broke into the end zone.

What to Know About Cal

Davis Webb let it all hang out against the Cardinal. He connected on 34-of-57 throws for 393 yards and two touchdowns. Both were reeled in by Chad Hansen, who ended up reeling in seven of Webb’s passes for 114 receiving yards.

The running game didn’t churn up too many positive yards. As a team, Cal ran for 90 yards on 24 carries, but 60 of those yards came from Tre Watson and his 11 carries. Watson also ran for two touchdowns. Khalfani Muhammad took his 11 carries for 35 rushing yards.

Advantages

Offense: Cal – UCLA has nothing close to resembling a successful running game, and the Bear Raid can put up points in a hurry.

Defense: UCLA – Cal is dead last in the country in points given up per game with 45.5.

Special Teams: Cal – Matt Anderson has hit on 17-of-21 field goals and has accounted for 99 points this season.

Coaching: Cal – Dykes and Jim Mora are both sitting in rough situations, but Jake Spavital has that Bear Raid offense clicking.

Matchup To Watch

Mike Fafaul vs. Davis Webb

Neither team can run the ball particularly well, but Fafaul is going to have to find more of a groove early on to set the tone. If he’s not on the same page with his guys, Cal is going to be able to take advantage with the way Webb slings the rock. He has explosive weapons with Hansen and Demetris Robertson, and Webb won’t hesitate to launch it down the field.

Betting Odds

Spread: UCLA -5.5
Over/Under: No line as of publication

UCLA vs. Cal Prediction

The Bruins can’t run the ball. The Golden Bears can barely run the ball. So get ready to see about 80-90 passes attempted in this game. Fafaul will barely complete half of his attempts. He’ll throw for 200 yards and a few touchdowns, but he’ll also get picked off once. Webb will be much cleaner with the football. He’ll find Robertson for a touchdown early, and then hook up with Hansen a few times for scores. Cal takes this one by a touchdown at home.

UCLA vs. Cal Score Prediction: Cal 42, UCLA 35

MORE: No. 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 13

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