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Matchup: UCLA Bruins @ #1 Oregon Ducks
Date: Thursday, October 21st, 9:00 ET
Location: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
Game Line: Oregon -24.5
The 6-0 #1 ranked Oregon Ducks will look to keep their hopes for an undefeated season and a BCS Title Game appearance intact this Thursday night when they host the UCLA Bruins. Oregon will try not to fall to the #1 jinx we have seen in the last few weeks after Alabama was knocked off by South Carolina two weeks ago and Ohio State was thumped by Wisconsin last Saturday. Oregon comes into this game with one of the most dynamic offenses in the country, averaging an eye-popping 54 PPG and 567 YPG. The Ducks haven’t done it just by racking up big numbers against bad teams either, as Oregon has dropped at least 42 points against everyone on their schedule. QB Darron Thomas looks set to go in this game after suffering a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder last Saturday. Thomas went 8-12 for 153 yards with a touchdown before the injury and the Oregon offense hasn’t missed a beat with him under center instead of Jeremiah Masoli. If Thomas can’t go, Nate Costa is a back-up with a lot of experience in the offense. On the other side of the ball, the Bruins have had a pretty erratic 2010 campaign so far. UCLA scored huge wins against a then-ranked Houston squad and shockingly blew out #7 Texas 34-12 on the road. However, the Bruins were embarrassed by Stanford and California, and many pundits don’t know quite what to make of this team. UCLA has a muddled quarterback situation right now and it’s unclear whether Kevin Prince or Richard Brehaut will start on Thursday night. Prince has struggled mightily this season, completing just 45% of his passes for 384 yards with three touchdowns against five interceptions. Prince is the starter, but has a sore right knee, and if he can’t go Brehaut will take the snaps for the Bruins on Thursday. Whoever is behind center though must improve UCLA’s anemic passing offense, which is one of the worst in the country, averaging under 100 yards passing a game. On defense, UCLA has one of the top secondaries in the conference, so the key to them shutting down the Oregon offense will be to stop Heisman Trophy candidate RB LaMichael James.
Free College Football Picks: Oregon -24.5
Prediction: Oregon 48 UCLA 17