UCLA vs. Oregon State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Bruins and Beavers.
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network
It’s never easy when you lose your star player and starting quarterback, but such is the case for UCLA (3-6). Jim Mora’s team has dropped its last four games, and it doesn’t seem as though Josh Rosen will be returning this season considering he just had surgery done on his shoulder. With three games left in a disappointing year, it wouldn’t make much sense for Rosen to risk any further injury. Last time out, UCLA fell on the road to Colorado, 20-10. The Bruins are in fifth place in the South Division.
Things haven’t been much better for Oregon State (2-7). The Beavers have also lost four consecutive games to Utah, Washington, Washington State and Stanford. Last Saturday, Oregon State went on the road to Palo Alto and fell to the Cardinal, 26-15. Now, Gary Andersen’s team sits at 1-5 in conference play and is in fifth place in the North Division
After an Oregon State win in 2012, UCLA responded in last year’s meeting with a 41-0 win in Corvallis. The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Beavers, 41-16-4.
What To Know About UCLA
Mike Fafaul got the start once again for the Bruins in the loss to the Buffaloes, and he ended up completing 15-of-29 passes for 185 yards, one touchdown and one pick. That single scoring throw was reeled in by Darren Andrews, who ended up catching six balls for 88 yards in the game. Austin Roberts chipped in with two receptions for 57 yards — 47 off of one grab.
And the UCLA running game, which has been bottled up all season, remained stagnant. Soso Jamabo had one of his better games this season with 66 rushing yards on 23 carries. Fafaul ran the ball five times but lost 19 yards, and Nate Starks has one carry for zero yards. As a team, the Bruins rushed for 25 yards.
What to Know About Oregon State
In the loss to Stanford, Marcus McMaryion wasn’t that sharp. He landed 10-of-24 throws for 137 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. It was Victor Bolden Jr. who caught that touchdown, and he finished with four catches for 109 yards. No other Oregon State receiver had more than two receptions. The team’s second-leading receiver was Timmy Hernandez. He had one grab for nine yards.
Ryan Nall, the Beavers’ all-around playmaker, caught two balls for five yards and ended up taking 10 carries for 77 yards. Artavis Pierce was given seven carries, and he rushed for 31 yards. McMaryion was the only Beaver to sneak the ball over the goal line on the ground. He ran for 12 yards and a touchdown on two carries.
Offense: Oregon State – Mike Fafaul has been given the green light to drop back and fire, but at least the Beavers can run the ball effectively sometimes.
Defense: UCLA – The Bruins are 38 spots ahead of the Beavers(31 points/game) at No. 56 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 26 points per game.
Special Teams: Oregon State – Bolden is averaging 25.2 yards per kick return and has returned one to the house this season.
Coaching: UCLA – No offense to Coach Andersen, but Mora is the answer every time with his NFL experience and offensive mind.
Matchup To Watch
Mike Fafaul vs. Ryan Nall
Fafaul has been thrown into a situation where it’s almost as though UCLA is simply waiting for next season to begin and for Rosen to be healthy.Regardless, he’ll need to pick his spots wisely, dink, dunk and take shots deep when the timing is right for him to stretch the field vertically. If he takes care of the football, the Bruins will be in a solid position to win. As for Nall, he’ll have to be the star ball carrier he’s been for the Beavers. McMaryion will have to find him out of the backfield to get him involved in the passing game, but Nall will have to do what he usually does and stay up after first contact to rack up yards and move the chains.
Spread: UCLA -12
UCLA vs. Oregon State Prediction
I’m calling for the upset here. It feels like a game that UCLA should easily win, but Nall isn’t going to let that happen. He’ll rush for more than 100 yards and will find his way past the pylon twice in this matchup. McMaryion won’t be too precise, but he’ll do enough to keep the Beavers in it — enough meaning finding ways to get Nall the ball. The Bruins won’t’ be able to move the ball on the ground, and Oregon State is going to squeak out a win.
UCLA vs. Oregon State Score Prediction: Oregon State 28, UCLA 27