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UCLA Football: Five Gutsy Predictions for Saturday’s Opener Vs. Nevada

The wait is almost over, people. UCLA football is right around the corner! The Bruins open up the 2013 season at home against the Nevada Wolf Pack.

1. UCLA will win this game by 3 or more touchdowns.

This is not meant as an insult to Nevada, but watch out, these Bruins are motivated and want to destroy everyone in their path. The Wolf Pack did average 37 points per contest last year, but they also gave up 33 points per game which ranked 102nd in the country. Now, I know this year is a fresh start from Nevada, but they are definitely an offensive-minded team. When you give up 33 points to your opponent, things aren’t bound to go your way, especially when you’re playing this UCLA team. The Bruins have a very potent, consistent offense. Look for the O to flourish against a relatively weak Nevada defense.

2. UCLA will shut down Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo.

Cody Fajardo is not a joke by any means. Cody, last year, completed 67% of his passes while passing for 2786 yards, 20 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and he averaged around 8 yards per pass. Cody Fajardo is a very mobile quarter back, he’s not going to blow by you with his speed, but he’s a pretty good runner for a quarterback. He was sacked 15 times last year which isn’t bad, but this UCLA defense is revamped and ready to feast on the Wolf Pack’s offensive line. UCLA already has proven defenders in Anthony Barr, Cassius Marsh but they also have a great freshamn class coming in, especially on defense. Look for Barr, Marsh, McCarthy and Vanderdoes to reek havoc in the backfield. I’m excited to see how our defensive back’s hold up. With Priest Willis, Randall Goforth and Ishmael Adams, look for bodies to be flying around and balls being batted down.

3. Jordan James will have a break-out game.

As of now, Jim Mora says they will do a running back by “committee,” that means that the starting job is up for grabs. This job is Jordan’s job to lose, all he has to do is take care of business, which isn’t easy. Steven Manfro is listed as the second string running back, but he had some trouble last year fumbling and dropping passes. Nevada’s defense gave up a whopping 221 rushing yards per game on the road, look for Jordan James to take advantage of that. Filling in for Johnathan Franklin is a very difficult task, but I’m very confident JJ will hold his own this year.

4. Brett Hundley will rack up 310 yards by his lonesome.

We know that Brett Hundley can run, but boy does he have a laser for an arm. Nevada gave up 230 yards through the air last year, Brett Hundley must be smiling from ear-to-ear as we speak! Our “savior” Brett Hundley will not only take advantage of that, but look for him to hit the ground running like a madman. I am 100% confident that he will lead put the team on his back and carry them to a great season opening victory.

5. UCLA will be more disciplined when it comes to penalties.

Last season, it seemed like UCLA was very undisciplined at times last year with all of the unnecessary penalties they would rack up. It was an issue that I’m sure all of us wanted to see get solved, but Jim Mora Jr.was very tough on the team when it came to this. Jim Mora is an absolutely no nonsense coach, what you see is what you get with him. I’m not saying that UCLA won’t rack up any penalties, but look for their number of penalties to significantly decline because of Mora’s tough nature as a coach.

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  • Steve Hall

    Four out of five . . . not bad. But 12 penalties/93 yards is *not good.* That has to get fixed by the time we get to Lincoln.

    • carlosatUCLA

      Great catch there. I think the gutsiest prediction was the James prediction but Andy was spot-on. The penalties were really frustrating and I’m disappointed to see that this hasn’t gotten fixed.

      • Steve Hall

        Judging by Big Red’s performance yesterday, we are better “on paper.” But Nebraska WILL capitalize on penalties and turnovers: we do NOT want to give them extra yards or extra plays. They were embarrassed at the Rose Bowl last year, and they’ll be looking for revenge. We don’t need to give ‘em ANY help.

        • carlosatUCLA

          Embarrassed is a bit strong. It was a damn good game. Nebraska looks like they’ve regressed while UCLA looks better, but going INTO Lincoln is the great equalizer here.