2024 UCLA Football preview game by game with predictions

The UCLA Bruins are looking forward to an exciting 2024 season with a mix of challenging road games and exciting home matchups. Here's a glimpse of what their schedule holds for them in 2024.
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UCLA Bruins 2024 Football Schedule Preview Overview

Season Opener: The Bruins kick things off on the road against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on August 31st. This will be a good opportunity for UCLA to get their offense in sync before heading into their first bye week.

First Big Ten home game: On September 14th, Indiana comes to the Rose Bowl for UCLA's home and Big Ten opener. This should be a winnable game for the Bruins as they look to build momentum going into their toughest non-conference game of the season.

Back-to-Back Tough Challenges: The following two weeks present a big challenge for UCLA. They travel to face the LSU Tigers on September 21st, followed by a home game against the Oregon Ducks on September 28th. Both LSU and Oregon are perennial powerhouses, and these games will be a true test of the Bruins' strength.

Road Trip against ranked opponent: October opens with a difficult road trip to Penn State on October 5th. This will be another tough matchup for UCLA, as Penn State is a formidable opponent in their home stadium.

Back Home: The Bruins return home as they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers on October 12th. Minnesota should be a beatable opponent as UCLA looks to have a winning record before traveling to the east coast for an in-conference match-up.

Going out east as a Big Ten team as their homecoming game: Normally a sign of disrespect when a team has their homecoming game when your team plays them but UCLA can use it as motivation as Rutgers has their homecoming game when the Bruins come to visit.

Early November: After having their second bye week of the season in the last weekend of October, November starts with another road trip, this time to Nebraska on November 2nd. Nebraska looks to be an improved team and a tough opponent, especially at home. However, UCLA will be looking to bounce back and pick up a key conference win.

Primetime Friday Night Matchups: The Bruins return home for a primetime Friday night matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes on November 8th. This should create a great atmosphere at the Rose Bowl, and a close game between the Bruins and the Hawkeyes is anticipated. Another Friday night primetime game follows on November 15th, as UCLA travels to face the Washington Huskies. This will be a hostile environment for the Bruins, but they'll be looking to pull off a road upset.

Rivalry Week and two games against in-state opponents: The Bruins wrap up their regular season with two big games. They host their crosstown rivals, the USC Trojans, on November 23rd. This is always a heated rivalry game, and both teams will be looking to end the season on a high note. The regular season finale is at home against Fresno State on November 30th. This should be a winnable game for UCLA to close out the season.

Postseason: Depending on their record, the Bruins should potentially qualify for a bowl game in December. They could theoretically earn a spot in the Big Ten Championship game on December 7th, but that would require a successful season in the conference with UCLA pulling off some upsets.

Schedule in summary for UCLA in 2024

  1. Non-Conference Games: UCLA plays three non-conference games against teams from different conferences. They have a very winnable game against Hawaii but it is on the road, the Bruins have a very difficult road game against LSU, and they end the regular season with a home game against Fresno State but the Bulldogs have won the last four games in this in-state rivalry.
  2. Conference Matchups: UCLA's schedule consists of games against opponents from the former Pac-12 Conference in Oregon, USC, and Washington, but most conference games will be against traditional Big Ten teams. They avoid playing Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Michigan State in Big Ten play. However, they have tough Big Ten games on the road against Penn State for example.
  3. Key Rivalries: UCLA has key rivalry games, including games against USC (the crosstown rivalry), Oregon, and Washington. These games often carry extra significance and intensity, regardless of the teams' overall records.
  4. Prime-Time Matchups: Certain games on UCLA's schedule may be selected for prime-time television slots, indicating high-profile matchups or games with significant implications for the team's season. Two games already will be on prime time on Friday Night as part of the Big Ten's agreement with Fox.
  5. Bye Weeks: Throughout the season, UCLA will have bye weeks, providing players with rest and allowing coaches to strategize and prepare for upcoming opponents. The first bye week is very early as the Bruins don't play the weekend of Sept. 7 and they have a later bye week on the weekend of Oct. 26th.
  6. Tough Challenges: As good as the Pac-12 was last season, UCLA is expected to have from top to bottom a more difficult schedule for the 2024 season as they will be playing in their first season as a member of the Big Ten conference.