UCLA Bruin Football: 3 Games I Want to See Right Now

David HedlindAnalyst IIJuly 20, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 02:  Ameer Abdullah #8 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrates a touchdown with teammate Tobi Okuyemi #48 during the Capitol One Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Florida Citrus Bowl on January 2, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Earlier I posted a breakdown of the UCLA Bruins.  Here are three games from their schedule I am ready to see today.



Big name opponent from another conference—what’s not to want to see? 

The hardest part is to know what to expect.  UCLA has a new head coach in Jim Mora Jr. and he has never coached a college game.  On the other side Nebraska is pretty well established with Bo Pelini. 

UCLA was the Pac-12 South representative in last year's conference championship game even though they were only 6-6. This year I think they are looking just to stay in the top half of the division and get to a bowl game. 

Nebraska is in contention for the Big Ten Legends division.  With Michigan and Michigan State in this division with them it's one of the top divisions in the country. 

I think UCLA will actually need a little luck in this one because Nebraska looks pretty strong.  If UCLA can channel a bit of the 2010 magic that had them upset No. 23 Houston and No. 7 Texas in back-to-back weeks they might just have a chance. 

Nebraska, of course, is hoping this is just the first time this season they play in the Rose Bowl.



Arizona State


UCLA was able to score with under a minute left in the game and force Arizona State into kicking a potential game winning field goal.  The kick missed and UCLA was able to walk away with a one-point win. 

Over the last four games the home team was won.  Last year was at UCLA and this year's game will be at Arizona State.  This could be a factor. 

While Arizona State might have the home field advantage, UCLA will have the advantage of more returning starters. 

Both teams have new head coaches and new coordinators.  Noel Mazzone will have a different look at this game as the new offensive coordinator at UCLA after holding the same position at Arizona State last season. 

As the season came to a close UCLA was able to shore up the South division at the expense of Arizona State and Utah.  

I wonder how much rebuilding there will be at these two schools and how much change will be implemented.  New coaches like their style and their schemes but also have to adjust to work with what talent is already present until they are able to fill positions in with the players for their style. 
Whichever is able to adjust quicker will have an advantage when they meet in late October.

Washington State

A 28-25 final score that wasn’t decided until the last four minutes of the game last season—how can that not get you ready to see this one played again?

UCLA has won the last four games in the series with last year's game being the only close one.  The previous match-ups were all decided by 14 or more so that might make you a little hesitant. 

Everyone is aware that Washington State has been down for a number of years and has pretty much been the doormat of the conference. But with new head coach Mike Leach in place, their competitiveness should increase. And honestly, I think it already was moving up under the last regime. Washington State might not be the automatic W of the past. 

When people think of Mike Leach they typically think offense.  I know I do.  Washington State already had a strong passing offense ranking ninth in the county last year.  Under Leach I would expect this to possibly be even better.  This could be the difference needed to make up that three-point difference.