4. At Utah, November 16
Now we get into the toughest four games of the season and UCLA will most likely be projected to lose all four of them. The “easiest” of these takes place in Salt Lake City where the Utes will look to replicate their 41-10 blowout of the Bruins in Pasadena. Though it should be a closer game as the Bruins improve, it will be extremely difficult to escape Utah with a win.
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3. At Cincinnati, August 29 (Thursday)
Cincinnati surprised UCLA to start last season. They surprised everybody by the end of the season when they finished 11-2. The bottom line is that the Bearcats are no joke and with this game taking place in Cincinnati on the Thursday before the official first weekend of college football puts this game under a microscope. A tight match while the nation is watching? Yeah, that’s tough.
2. Vs. Oklahoma, September 14
Oklahoma will be the best team UCLA faces next season, but it will not be the most challenging game, which I will get to in a second. The Bruins need to climb a mountain if they want to take down this team that made it to the College Football Playoffs for the last two seasons. At this point in time, it seems like the only advantage they have is playing at the Rose Bowl. Still, I do not expect a win. Maybe a close loss. Maybe.
1. At Stanford, October 17 (Thursday)
As you can see, this game will be the most difficult for several reasons. First off, it is against Stanford; a team UCLA has lost to in 11 straight games. Secondly, it is on the farm, a place they had not claimed a victory since 2007, back when Karl Dorrell was in charge. Third, it is on a Thursday night. The last time UCLA played Stanford on a Thursday, they lost 56-35. Not to mention the psychological factor and this puts this well above all other games in 2019.
So yes, the Stanford game will be the most difficult on the docket.