UCLA will certainly have their hands full trying to contain the high powered Houston offense. On the other side of the ball, however, UCLA should have no problem scoring points against Houston’s defense.
Houston’s defense can be described using a variety of words. The list contains: awful, terrible, putrid, ugly, make-you-want-to-gouge-your-eyes-out-with-your-finger-nails bad, or any other word you can think of to describe the 118th ranked defense in the country.
Houston does return 7 starters from last year’s defense, but that certainly is not a good thing. Houston is giving up 43 points per game so far to the likes of Texas State and Louisiana Tech.
Facing one of the top offenses in the country this week, Houston’s defense isn’t likely to improve on their statistics quite yet. Noel Mazzone’s offense is fast. Houston’s defense is slow. UCLA runs the ball well. Houston gives up almost 5.5 yards per carry. UCLA throws the ball well. Houston gives up almost 300 yards passing per game.
The key to this game, like many, is the turnover battle. If UCLA can avoid turnovers, they will score plenty of points. Brett Hundley has thrown just one interception thus far this season. He needs to protect the ball this Saturday. If Brett can avoid turnovers, he will have another huge game. The offensive line should do a fine job protecting Brett again. The opportunity for him to go over 300 yards passing again is there. Expect the freshman to have another big game.
Jonathan Franklin. National Player of the Week Jonathan Franklin. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Expect another huge game from UCLA’s newest Heisman contender. Ok, two weeks may be a little soon to talk Heisman, but is three weeks too soon? You can decide that for yourself. Franklin could have another huge game this week. 200 yards is possible once again. If Franklin goes over 200 yards for the third straight time, UCLA fans will be handing him the trophy already. I know, very premature. The point is, no one on Houston’s defense can stop the UCLA running game. I expect Franklin to get a lot of carries early, UCLA will establish a solid lead, and then slow it down in the second half.
Can you tell I’m not very high on Houston’s defense?
UCLA 63-Houston 28.