UCLA Football: Match-up With Washington


Nov 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) motions at the line during the first quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

This Saturday, November 8th, UCLA Football heads to Washington for their looming match-up with the under-preforming Huskies that will see and follow story-lines ranging from an Alma Mater visit for Jim Mora and a constant battle between linebacker/running-back Myles Jack and linebacker/running-back Shaq Thompson. More importantly, however, is how these two teams stack up. Before we jump in, let’s look at some of the key information on both of these teams.

Washington Huskies:

Five games with ranked opponents scheduled for this season; 0-3 in these games with two remaining.

At this point in the season, Washington has outscored opponents by a mere 6.4 points per game — their 30.8 to opponents 24.4

36.96% — The Huskies’ 3rd down conversion rate this season.

84.6% — The Huskies’ field goal percentage.

87.1% — The Huskies’ red-zone success rate.

UCLA Bruins:

Three games with ranked opponents scheduled for this season; 2-1 in these games with none remaining.

At this point in the season, UCLA has outscored opponents by a mere 6.0 points per game. — their 33.7 to opponents 27.7

40.56% — The Bruins’ 3rd down conversion rate this season.

73.3% — The Bruins’ field goal percentage

96.97% — The Bruins’ red-zone success rate that has seen only one trip without any points on the board.

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Quite frankly, this is a game with season deciding implications for both Washington and UCLA. If the Bruins want any shot at national recognition come seasons end, it’ll mean running the table — and the same goes for Washington having lost their three games against ranked opponents thus far. With two teams comprised of much talent and little production, this game has the potential to be a great one if the play calling lets the athletes be great athletes. On both sides of the ball, for both teams, we see true athletes like Myles Jack, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Brett Hundley, and Paul Perkins for UCLA, along with Shaq Thompson, Cyler Myles, and many others for Washington.

Nonetheless, this game is going to come down to just about none of the players named above. Of course Brett Hundley and Cyler Myles will have an impact on the game, but younger defensive players in the UCLA backfield are the ones who are going to get this win. The choice to start Kenny Young and Tahaan Goodman along with other young guys who have logged substantial minutes this season like Jaleel Wadood, has brought passion back into a defense that was shorthanded with the loss of starting saftey Randall Goforth. And let’s face it, football has a lot to do with play-calling, execution, and decision making, but the most important factor is passion.

Passion is what fueled Appalachian State to their win over the then ranked 5th Michigan Wolverines. Passion is what allowed UCLA to beat USC 13-9 in 2006. Passion showed us last week that young defensive players can hold the 4th ranked scoring offense in the nation to a mere seven points — all of which came on the first drive that was lengthened by two bad penalties on third down stops. In other words, the game could have been a shutout. Passion is what will lead the Bruins to victory in Washington this weekend when Myles Jack enjoys his homecoming just 10 miles away from his hometown of Bellevue, Washington — and passion will persevere.