After their bye week, the Bruins host ranked Washington State for their second Pac-12 conference game of the season.
UCLA and Washington State have been playing against one another since 1928. Early on in the series between these two schools, the Cougars dominated the Bruins from 1938-1957 winning 11 consecutive games. As of late, UCLA has done well against Washington State over the past few decades. However overall, the Bruins lead the all-time series 41-20-1. UCLA plays very well at home against Washington State as the Bruins have a commanding 23-9 record on their home field. On the road against the Cougars is a different story as UCLA is 11-18-1.
There was a period of dominance for the Bruins from 1967 to 1978 when UCLA won 12 straight games against Washington State. There have been games where the Bruins have won by big margins against the Cougars as they did in 1976 when they defeated Washington State by a final score of 62-3.
Now let’s take a look at how both teams have played thus far in 2023.
The Cougars are ranked No. 13 going into their game against UCLA. They are currently 4-0 overall and 1-0 in Pac-12 play. They have wins over Colorado State, Wisconsin, Northern Colorado, and Oregon State. Their only road game this season was the opening game at Colorado State and traveling to Los Angeles to play the Bruins will be their second.
The Cougars are led by head coach Jake Dickert, who is in his third season at the helm. They have a high-powered offense that is averaging 45.8 points per game, which is second in the Pac-12. They are also led by a solid defense that is giving up just 21.3 points per game, which is fifth in the Pac-12.
Washington State is a different opponent for UCLA than Utah that is, this game should allow the Bruins offense to be more productive than they were against the Utes. However, the Cougars offense will arguably be the best offense that UCLA will face this season.
The Bruins had a bye week coming into this game after losing a tough road game against Utah the week prior. The UCLA offense had been very efficient in their first three games but struggled to score against one of the top defenses in the Pac-12 in Utah. Their game at home against the Cougars is a chance for Dante Moore and the Bruins offense to have a big game and lead UCLA to a victory over a top-15-ranked team.
The UCLA defense has improved statistically and they look to be the best defense that head coach Chip Kelly has had since he became the coach at UCLA. However, this will be the most potent offense that the Bruins defense will face up to this point of the season.
Last 10 games of this rivalry: UCLA has won six times during the past 10 games that these two schools have played one another.
The last five games of this rivalry: The Bruins have won three out of the previous five games against the Cougars.
Best game between these two schools: In a very close game, The Bruins in 1985 won a classic game that resulted in a 31-30 win by UCLA.
Last meeting between both schools: UCLA in a very high-scoring and exciting game defeated Washington State on the road by a final score of 67-63 when they last played in 2019.
Prediction: UCLA 51 Washington State 34