Matchup: Memphis at UCLA (-24 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 6th @ 10:00 EST
Location: Pasadena, CA (airing on PAC-12 Network)
Preview: The UCLA Bruins were one of the teams that everyone was talking about in the preseason. The program that was on the rise with a top-notch head coach, and a dual-threat Heisman hopeful at quarterback. Their trip to Charlottesville, Virginia didn’t really go as planned as they narrowly escaped with a 28-20 victory. The Bruins were lackluster on offense, scoring just 1 touchdown late in the third quarter. The three other scores were from the defense, 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns and 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown. Keep in mind that this is pretty much the same UCLA offense returning 9 starters that was 20th in the nation in scoring last year. Two things that a lot of people might want to take into consideration. One factor is that the game was at 12 noon EST, that’s 9 am pacific time. The body clocks might have been a little off. Another factor is that the Virginia defense is actually pretty good, with a strong secondary, and an athletic group of linebackers. Maybe UCLA underestimated a Virginia team that had 17 returning starters? Maybe they had been reading their own newspaper clippings, who knows. One thing is certain, head coach Jim Mora will have his team ready this week, and I’m sure that they know that Memphis might have gone 2-9 last year, but they also have 17 returning starters back from last years squad, and were quite the pesky team that were competitive with the likes of Louisville and Duke (one of the surprise teams from last season). Memphis should be one of the most improved teams in the AAC this season, which was evident in a 63-0 route of Austin Peay. However, they will be playing a motivated UCLA team that just dropped 4 spots in the rankings and out of the top 10. Mora will have his squad ready, and I’m not concerned about a look ahead spot with Texas up next, as I’m sure they are well aware that their schedule will be full of challenges this season. Now the average bettor might look at this line and see some value with the points…not so fast. There’s a saying in football ‘forget what you saw last week’. I think that’s the case here, UCLA rolls by at least 4 touchdowns and will quiet the naysayers this weekend.
2014 Week 2 NCAA Football Picks: UCLA -24
Memphis at UCLA Final Score Prediction: UCLA 49 – Memphis 17