Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Mora needs a win here
Noel Mazzone's ties to the Arizona State program
It was big news when Mazzone decided to leave Arizona State and join Jim Mora's staff in Westwood. Mazzone became the most established and high-profile offensive coordinator at UCLA since perhaps Al Borges and Homer Smith.
Heading into Saturday's game, Mazzone will be coaching against a ton of kids that he recruited and coached for two seasons. No doubt that this situation could be "a little weird," as Mazzone says in this article.
There's a catch-22 in regards to knowing personnel. Mazzone worked with the ASU quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs, but new ASU coach Todd Graham is running a somewhat different offense. While Mazzone will know some of the intricacies and habits of his former personnel, it might not be as big of an advantage as one would surmise.
This represents a huge game for UCLA
As detailed in this article, this is type of game that UCLA hasn't been able to win in some time. Going on the road against a team of similar talent level hasn't been an easy task for the Bruins. In games like these traditionally (dating back the last decade), UCLA usually loses by a considerable margin.
It will take discipline, focus and strong play from the defense in order to pull off a victory on the road in what will be the homecoming game for the Sun Devils.
Brett Hundley's homecoming
UCLA quarterback and Arizona native Brett Hundley will make his first appearance back in The Grand Canyon State against his hometown team.
Interestingly enough, Hundley did grow up an Arizona fan despite living less than a half an hour from Sun Devil Stadium. There was no allegiance to Arizona State considering that Hundley's father played tailback at Arizona.
It will be fascinating to see how Hundley performs. He took a big step forward last week against Utah, which he displayed both mobility for the first time in weeks, and also a moxie in terms of managing a game effectively.
In this contest, he'll have the added pressure of playing in front of family and friends. Will nerves get the best of him, or will he thrive on that pressure and perform spectacularly?
We'll see come Saturday.