It’s a must-win game for No. 12 UCLA on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title game odds alive as the Bruins visit Arizona State. Which way to lean at the best sportsbooks?
UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 10:30 PM EDT at Sun Devil Stadium
Fox Sports 1 has this Pac-12 matchup that means everything to the No. 12 Bruins as they are 3rd in the league with a 4-1 conference mark.
Remember, there are no divisions any longer and the top 2 teams meet in the title game. UCLA already loses a head-to-head tiebreaker with first-place Oregon, so the Bruins truly can’t afford a loss here. Arizona State is playing out yet another disappointing campaign.
Last year, UCLA lost at home to Arizona State 42-23. Sun Devils QB Jayden Daniels (now at LSU passed for 286 yards and threw 2 touchdown passes to Ricky Pearsall. Rachaad White rushed for 2 TDs. ASU was forced to punt on its first drive before scoring on the next five.
UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson accounted for 328 yards. He was 21 of 32 for 235 yards passing along with 93 yards rushing on 18 carries. The Bruins lead the all-time series 22-15-1, and the teams have split their past 8 in Tempe. The underdog is 4-0 ATS on the NCAAF picks in the past 4 meetings.
UCLA Needs Help in CFP Rankings
The Bruins debuted at No. 12 in the first College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night so they would obviously need to win out and get a lot of help to reach the CFP for the first time.
It is the 11th overall appearance for the Bruins in the CFP rankings and their highest ranking ever in the first listing of a season.
What Happened in Week 9?
Coach Chip Kelly’s team comes off a 38-13 win vs. Stanford last Saturday. Running back Zach Charbonnet tied his career high with 198 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns and added 5 receptions for 61 yards.
UCLA is 12-1 all-time in games in which Charbonnet runs for at least 100 yards. He has run for at least 100 yards in each of his last 5 games and also has reached 100 in each of his last 7 games against Pac-12 opponents. Charbonnet leads the Pac-12 with 964 rushing yards.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson was 18-for-29 for 199 yards passing and rushed for 50 yards and one touchdown. DTR moved past Josh Rosen 2015-2017 (9,341 yards) and into No. 3 on the all-time UCLA passing yards list. He now has 9,512 yards, and No. 2 on the list is Brett Hundley (2011-14) who threw for 9,966 yards.
This will be DTR’s 44th career star, tying Cade McNown for the most in school history.
Stanford was held without a TD, the first time in which UCLA did not allow an opponent touchdown since 2015 at Utah. The Bruins have won 44 straight games overall and 63 straight regular-season games in which it has held the opponent to fewer than 20 points. The last such regular-season loss was at Colorado in 2003.
Arizona State Makes QB Change
ASU fired coach Herm Edwards earlier this season and running backs coach Shaun Aguano is the interim coach, but he’s not getting the full-time gig.
Two names you hear are former Carolina Panthers and Baylor/Temple coach Matt Rhule and Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham.
What Happened in Week 9?
The Sun Devils come off a 42-34 win at a bad Colorado team that also has fired its coach. Redshirt junior Trenton Bourguet made his first career start at quarterback and set a school record for most yards in a first start, finishing with 435 yards and 3 touchdowns on 32-of-43 passing. Needless to say, he’ll remain the starter.
Jalin Conyers became the first Sun Devil tight end ever with 3 touchdown catches and finished with 6 catches for 108 yards. He was the first Sun Devil overall to have 3 TD grabs in a game since Brandon Aiyuk managed the feat against Washington State in 2019.
Elijhah Badger added 8 catches for 137 yards, and Xazavian Valladay had 118 yards on the ground and 3 scores. He reached the 4,000-yard rushing mark for his career and is second in the Pac-12 this year with 760 yards on the ground.
Shaun Aguano About the Game
Aguano took over play-calling duties for offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas and ASU had 557 yards. Aguano ran a hurry-up offense in which the team averaged around 16.5 seconds on the play clock when the ball was snapped. Entering the game, ASU had averaged snapping the ball with fewer than 10 seconds remaining on the play clock.
“I thought we needed to have a change in that and that was one of the changes that I wanted to get done,” Aguano told reporters postgame. “The kids were excited just because I think there’s so many kids that played in that system prior from coming to high school, I think they’re used to that. So that tempo helped us, especially keeping the defense off balance.”
Arizona State has been playing quite a bit better of late and is 5-0 ATS in its past 5 at home vs. teams with a winning road record. UCLA will win but not by more than 10 at the NCAAF odds demand.
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