An undefeated mark and Pac-12 supremacy are on the line as the No. 12 UCLA Bruins face the Utah Utes on Thursday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Refreshed after a week break, quarterback Brett Hundley and the Bruins have run off three straight wins, including a 59-13 onslaught of New Mexico State.
The Heisman contender threw for 280 yards, three touchdowns, and two picks, and junior running back Jordon James rushed for a career-high 164 yards and two scores. James has now picked up 100-plus yards in three straight contests, after never totaling more than 37 yards in any game the previous two seasons.
The rout helped UCLA climb to the third-ranked offense in the country, scoring 52.7 points and 29th in defense with 18 points allowed in three games.
Utah offset their first let down, a 51-48 overtime conference loss to Oregon State, with a narrow 20-13 victory over BYU two weeks ago. It was the Utes fourth straight victory over BYU, powered by quarterback Travis Wilson’s 273 passing yards and two touchdowns, and receiver Dres Anderson’s eight catches for 141 yards.
It was the first game of the season the Utes rushing attack was kept out of the end zone, but Bubba Poole still amassed 96 yards on 18 attempts, maintaining his 5.2 yards per carry production.
While the school remains unranked, the Utah defense might be one of the least heralded in the country. Led by Tenny Palepoi, Jacoby Hale, and top tackler Trevor Reilly, Utah has sacked opposing quarterbacks 15 times, tied for sixth best in the country.
That frontline could be Hundley’s biggest test of the season thus far. Through three games, the UCLA offensive line has only given up five sacks for a loss of nine yards, and three of them came in the 41-21 comeback against Nebraska.
Coverage begins at 7 pm Pacific Time on FOX Sports 1. For the Fox Sports 1 channel finder, head here to the network’s official site.
Betting Odds: UCLA favored by 5.5 points.
Over/Under: 64.5 points
Prediction: UCLA 35, Utah 20
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