Washington vs. UCLA, 10:30 ET
Not all good football games need to be between top 25 teams. I like to look forward to those because there are so many mismatches that are scheduled regularly. For every wild upset, there are like 20 games that have the better team coasting to victory. I like the wild upsets as much as the next guy, but sitting through the other ones isn’t always worth it. Luckily for us, we get what should be a good game between #15 Washington and unranked UCLA.
Washington is coming in 4-0 with two wins over bad teams like Kent State and Portland State. Then the next two games were against more reasonable opponents. They took on Michigan State and won that game convincingly by 11 points – that was their only ranked opponent. Then they beat Stanford by 18 points which was actually a closer final score than it really should’ve been anyway. A couple of late scores for Stanford made it look closer than it really was. Starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. looks great so far in the early going with 12 touchdowns and just one interception. He also has taken just one sack on the year which speaks to not only his reading of defense but the strength of the offensive line.
UCLA also is off to a good start on the year. However, this is a stretch where they have three consecutive games against ranked opponents. I like the way the Bruins look right now, but how will they stack up against better opponents? They struggled with a South Alabama team that wasn’t very good, but maybe that was due to it being a bit of a look-ahead spot. Outside of that game against South Alabama, the Bruins have been able to put up 45 points in the other three games. The quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, has been very much in control of the ball with eight touchdowns and one interception. He also has a 75% completion rate. They also mix in the running game very well with multiple guys getting opportunities and chewing up yardage. Thompson-Robinson also has been able to scramble when needed and keep plays alive.
I highlighted the offensive prowess of both of these teams, but their defenses are allowing almost identical production right now to opponents. The big difference there is the quality of opponents. I’d have to say that Washington has faced at least the best opponent so far. I love what I’m seeing out of the Washington passing game, and even if the Bruins can get the ground game going, I think Washington is the better side here. I’m going to play the Huskies -2.5 at -115. This might be a bit of a sweat because I think this will be a good game, but I like this play.
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