Keys to Victory: UCLA vs Washington State


The home stretch for the Bruins starts tonight against Washington State. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA begins the final 3 game gauntlet of the season this Saturday night against Washington State. Here are the Bruins keys to victory against the Cougars!

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Get Pressure With the Front Four –

QB Luke Falk is already a master of Coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense (Falk has already been Pac-12 Player of the Week three times this year). If the Bruins cannot get pressure with four or less rushers, they will probably be in for a long night. Against Stanford and ASU, Falk regularly turned blitzes into easy 8-10 yard gains. “Sackarist” McKinley and the rest of the Bruin pass rushers need to bring their A-game this week.

Nov 22, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington State Cougars mascot Butch T. Cougar prior to the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. The Sun Devils defeats the Cougars 52-31. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Stop the Cougar Ground Game – Yes, you read that correctly. Last week against ASU, the Cougars rushed for less than 20 yards on only a handful of attempts, but WSU is actually much better at running the ball this year. All three running backs that have a significant amount of attempts are over 5.4 yards per carry, and Falk will check into a run whenever he thinks there is an advantage. If the Bruins have problems against the run like they have in previous games this year, it will make it even harder for them to get the Cougars off the field.

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  • Exploit the Cougars on Special Teams –

    WSU has given up 4 touchdowns on returns this year (worst in FBS). It has gotten so bad that Mike Leach has turned to regularly squib kicking to avoid big returns. If UCLA does not enjoy tremendous field position on the majority of drives against the Cougs, something will have gone horribly awry.

    Final Score: UCLA 42 Washington State 27

    Go Bruins