The Case For and Against a UCLA Upset
The predictions for Nebraska's visit to UCLA this week tend to have the Huskers winning somewhere between a few points and two touchdowns. You even see a few bold souls, predicting an upset by the Bruins. Given how bad UCLA was a year ago and how well NU as fared in nonconference games with Taylor Martinez at quarterback, are the Bruins getting too much credit?
The Bruins Have Got to Like...
...that Nebraska has to travel two time zones to play the game.
...that Rex Burkhead is hurt and Tim Marlowe is too.
...that their offense looked so good last week both running and passing.
...that NU has given up a lot of rushing yards both last season and last week.
...that they got an extra two days to prepare for the game.
...that the Huskers have struggled against dual threat quarterbacks.
...that they get to play in their home stadium.
The Huskers Have Got to Like...
...that it's only the second start for UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.
...that the Bruins start three freshman on their offensive line.
...that UCLA gave up 24 points in one half of football to Rice!
...the UCLA defense was terrible a year ago.
...that UCLA is still learning to play for a new coaching staff.
...that NU had no trouble in a similar matchup two years ago at Washington, in a much louder stadium.
...the game kicks off at 4:30 Pacific time, which isn't too different from playing a night game for a Midwestern team.
...that UCLA is not known for a passionate fan base that creates a hostile road environment for visiting teams.
...that Husker fans travel so well.
...that Taylor Martinez and his receivers were on fire last week.
...that the Californians on the NU roster will have a lot to play for.
...the Husker pass defense was outstanding in week 1 against a team that was better than UCLA a year ago.
...that Nebraska hasn't committed a single turnover and has committed very few penalties.
Sure this game could be competitive. If Nebraska doesn't play well, they could lose. But there are good reasons for NU to be the favorite. In the end, there are just more reasons to like the Huskers here. Still, this could be a four-quarter shootout that we won't soon forget.