Fresno State Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins Preview and Pick

#24 Fresno State Bulldogs (2-1) -7 at UCLA Bruins (1-2) (0-1 in PAC-10) +7 Saturday September 27 Pasadena, California Rose Bowl (104,594) 6:30 p.m. EST

By Wilson of

The UCLA Bruins will host the Fresno State Bulldogs this Saturday in the Rose Bowl for a non-conference matchup. The Bruins will not take the 24th ranked Bulldogs lightly as they really don’t have grounds for over looking any opponent based on their last two games.

New Bruin head coach Rick Neuheisel is a former Bruin QB who knows the game well, but must try to rally his troops in the wake of two recent beatings. His knowledge can only go so far, and then the athletes actually have to perform in order to get success.

The Bruins have given up 90 points in their last two games (59 to BYU, and 31 to Arizona). To make matters more urgent is the lack of offensive performance displayed by the Bruins. They have only scored 10 points in their last two contests, and the one touchdown was a fumble recovery by the defense when Korey Bosworth picked up a one yard return for the team’s only TD. They didn’t score at all against BYU.

UCLA’s offense must improve as they only managed a total of 196 yards against Arizona last Saturday with 81 in the air and 115 on the ground. This marks the second year in a row that Arizona has downed the Bruins; last year they won 34-27.

The Bruins only shining moment this season was the overtime upset against Tennessee to open their season. Since the Tennessee game the Bruins have pretty much been non-existent. They have allowed ninety points, and only produced ten for themselves.

UCLA started their third string QB Kevin craft as the other two QBs are injured. Craft was 15-of-31 for 81 yards and no TDs.

UCLA is 1-2 ATS, and 2-1 O/U (2/O-1/U), but I’m sure they would rather have 3 wins and 0 losses, but hey, at least somebody’s winning right?

Fresno State (1-2 ATS, 1-2 O/U) comes into the Rose Bowl with a lot of confidence especially after their big double overtime thriller against Toledo on Saturday 55-54. Nice call Toledo! One word-conditioning!

The Bulldogs are on fire and playing well. Their offense put up 364 yards against Toledo with 231 yards passing and 147 on the ground.

Fresno State QB Tom Brandstater was 22-of-28 for 231 and four touchdowns. He connected deep twice, once to Ajirotutu for a 47 yard gain, and again to Moore for a 38 yard touchdown.

The Bulldogs appeared to be a bit distraught early on in the Toledo game; likely a hangover from their loss a week earlier to No. 8 Wisconsin which all but crushed their BCS championship bid. However, the Bulldogs did hang on and win the game.

This game will likely go in Fresno State’s favor as they have the better squad at the moment and have proven they can play with the best in college football. UCLA will need a packed house plus a perfect game to beat these feisty dogs!

Wilson’s Pick: UCLA has done everything possible to prove that they will not be able to beat Fresno State, even on their own turf. I admit, I thought UCLA would be more bargain for the buck but even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time (UCLA’s win over Tennessee). I like Fresno State to bark all over the Bruins.