No. 11 Utah vs No. 18 UCLA College football preview
UCLA looks to maintain its undefeated record against the defending PAC-12 champions, Utah
It’s go big or go home as the No. 11 Utes try to top their conference rivals, the No. 18 Bruins on the road.
UCLA leads the all-time series 11-8, but Utah has won the last five consecutive games.
Despite falling just short against Florida due to a near-touchdown pass getting picked off in the endzone, the Utes have come back fighting and look seamless, winning their last four.
Cameron Rising is a true dual-threat quarterback for Utah, as he has already surpassed the 1000 yard mark just five games into the season, and works seamlessly on the run and in the air.
Rising’s go-to man, fresh off a 1000-yard rushing season, is Tavion Thomas. Thomas only has 295 yards for four touchdowns this season, but is looking to pick up the pace against the Bruins.
Utah’s receiving corps is just as strong, as Rising has successfully found Dalton Kincaid in the endzone five times this season, along with Brad Kuithe and Devaughn Vele who have three touchdown receptions each.
As constantly said in the world of sports, defense wins games, and the Utah defense is no exception.
Cole Bishop and Karene Reid have each tallied 32 tackles across five games, along with R.J. Hubert with 28, 21 of which are solo tackles.
The Utes defensive unit has recorded nine interceptions all season, Clark Phillips III accounting for four of those alone. They have held their opponents to an average of 14 points per game, two of which they only allowed one touchdown throughout four quarters.
Entering this game, Utah will need to prioritize stopping Bruins running back Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet has 417 yards and five touchdowns to his name this season and is a crucial part of UCLA’s offense.
UCLA, coming in as the underdogs, will need to capitalize on its passing game to succeed over the dominant Utah defense.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson has really stepped into his leadership role as a fifth-year quarterback for the Bruins, and will pull out all the stops to earn his first career win over the University of Utah.
Thompson-Robinson has over 1200 yards and 11 touchdowns in his undefeated campaign. The Bruins have not had a turnover in their last two games, and look to continue that momentum.
Like Rising, he is extremely agile on his feet and in the air, which could be his weapon as Utah’s specialty is stopping their opponents run game.
Jake Bobo is the leading receiver for the Bruins with 3 touchdown receptions and 363 yards. Thompson-Robinson has found six different receivers in the end zone for touchdowns this season, so this versatility could benefit them.
The PAC-12 rivals will face off at the Rose Bowl on Saturday at 3:30 in Pasadena, California.
Molly White is a junior majoring in kinesiology, to contact her, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Second Year / Kinesiology - Movement Science
Molly White is a second year student studying Kinesiology with a concentration in Movement Science at Penn State University Park. She is from South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and is looking to pursue a career in sports, currently exploring other interests in the field outside of her current major, looking to gain a more broad experience and gain more knowledge.