San Diego State Aztecs vs. UCLA Bruins Saturday September 5, 2009 Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 5:45 p.m. EST, TV: Fox Sports West (locally).
By Wilson of Predictem.com
Point Spread: San Diego State +20/UCLA -20
The UCLA Bruins hope to open their season this Saturday but a raging wild fire in the Los Angeles area threatens to possibly postpone the game due to poor air quality. The wild fire has already claimed the lives of two firefighters and trapped several residents in the greater LA area. Obviously this fire is first priority for the community and we truly hope that it gets contained soon for the safety of all involved.
If the game is played it will be the first meeting between these two teams since 2005 when the Bruins beat the Aztecs at San Diego State 44-21.
San Diego State went 2-10 last season and tied for eighth place in their division with a 1-7 record. Not exactly a stellar year but the Aztecs have hired a new in Brady Hoke who took Ball State to 12-1 last season. Hoke has a great staff who ironically, have ties to UCLA. Offensive Coordinator, Al Borges, defensive coordinator, Rocky Long, cornerbacks coach, Tony White, and director of operations Bob Lopez all either played, coached or worked for UCLA football at one time. They might just have the inside scoop on the Bruins.
BET ON THE UCLA BRUINS USING YOUR CREDIT CARD TO
DEPOSIT AT INTERTOPS
The Bruins return 10 offensive starters from last years crew including QB Kevin Craft. Craft will have most of his receiving corp back as well in Taylor Embree, Terrance Austin, Ryan Moya, and TE Logan Paulsen who is coming off a season ending injury in 2008. Paulsen was voted as a team captain by his peers. The other TE, Cory Harkey is back as well. UCLAs offensive line should be able to protect Craft in the pocket and open up some big plays as they return four guys in the trenches.
Bruins QB Craft, threw for over 2300 yards last season and 7 touchdowns. Craft will look to improve on those numbers starting with the Aztecs on Saturday. On paper, the Bruins should have no major concerns taking care of business this weekend but you never know what each game will pertain. The Bruins have never lost to the Aztecs as they are 20-0-1 in the series that dates back to 1984 when the Bruins finished 9-3 and won the Aloha Bowl.
UCLA also has 7 players returning on defense including Kyle Bosworth who will start at linebacker. Bosworth was allowed a medical hardship last season after he sprained his knee at BYU. He played in the home opener last season when the Bruins beat Tennessee, but missed the last 10 games from the BYU injury. On a side note, Kyles uncle is Brian Bosworth who played at Oklahoma and then in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks.
The Aztecs will have their hands full on both sides of the ball, and UCLA should start their season on another winning note as they have won their last four openers. We all know that most programs try to schedule a pancake game to get the season off to a smooth start but I dont doubt any teams especially the Aztecs. They have some decent talent and those athletes live to compete against major programs.
The question still remains if this game will go on as scheduled or will it be held off due to the wild fires currently burning in the area. We should know more by the end of the week; theres a possibilty that the game may be moved to a different location but officials are waiting to assess the situation.
As far as this game is concerned, the Bruins will prove to be too much to handle for the Aztecs.
Wilsons Pick: I like the Bruins to cover in this one. UCLA 35, San Diego State 13. Luck to ya.