Countdown to Kickoff: UCLA at Rice, 4:30 p.m.

The Jim Mora era officially begins today at 4:30 when UCLA visits Rice in the season opener. Our Jill Painter is live from Houston and will have your recap. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @jillpainter … I’m still not sure where I’ll be watching the game since there’s zero chance I’ll ever subscribe to CBS Sports Network. This means I’ll have to find some place in Pasadena. We’ll see. Either way, feel free to follow me on Twitter @MelendezSports and I’ll be happy to chat along while we watch together via cyber space. Mora will have a conference call with reporters Friday evening, so I’ll be sure to have a post on the blog later that night with his thoughts about the game’s result. I gotta say, this day seemed like it would never come with all the long and hot drives to San Bernardino and two-a-days there and in Westwood. It’s pretty amazing how time flies. Just a few days ago we were all wiped on what to write. And now, Game Day.

UCLA vs. RICE AT A GLANCE
WHEN: 4:30 p.m., Rice Stadium, Houston
TV: CBS Sports Network
RADIO: KTLK-1150 AM

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

UCLA WINS IF …
… quarterback Brett Hundley and the slew of young playmakers can overcome nerves and execute the new spread offense.

… the offensive line builds cohesion with a consistent unit.

… the defense can apply pressure up front and build from last year’s woeful sack totals.

TOP RETURNING PERFORMERS
RUSHING

Johnathan Franklin (976 yards, 5.9 Avg., 5 TDs)

RECEIVING
Joseph Fauria (481 yards, 12.3 Avg., 6 TDs)

DEFENSE
DE Datone Jones (41 tackles, 6.5 TFL, three sacks)
DE Donovan Carter (36 tackles)
SS Andrew Abbott (four interceptions)

INJURY UPDATE
Out: TE Ian Taubler (ankle)
Doubtful: None
Questionable: TE Jordan Barrett (knee)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

RICE WINS IF …

… quarterback Taylor McHargue connects with new set of receivers.

… the young and inexperienced offensive line doesn’t get pummeled early and often.

… the secondary can provide solid cover protection.

TOP RETURNING PERFORMERS
PASSING

Tyler McHargue (1,072 yards, 8 TDs, 5 INT)

RUSHING
Turner Petersen (485 yards, 4.8 Avg., 5 TDs)

RECEIVING
Vance McDonald (541 yards, 12.3 Avg., 5 TDs)

DEFENSE
LBCameron Nwosu (108 tackles, 58 unassisted, 6 TFL)
CB Bryce Callahan (6 INTs, 34 tackles, 9 BrkUpPasses)

PREDICTION
UCLA 31, Rice 13

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  • Coach Rick Neuheisal

    Let’s be realistic, UCLA wins no matter what. The talent differential and coaching experience is simply too much for Rice. It will be more revealing to see how many mistakes we make in getting plays and players in on time and guys getting in the right formations as an indicator for if we have a good shot at beating Nebraska at home.

  • Huitzilopochtli

    You have to subscribe to this channel?

  • Anonymous

    How many points do we get for coaching experience?

    None?

    Damn.

  • myles_mama

    Miguel, why are you not in Houston covering the game?

  • Anonymous

    None for coaching experience but 16 1/2 for talent…

  • UB – Ultimate Bruin

    URGENT!
    If you are a Direct TV customer and are upset about its failure to reach an agreement to carry the Pac 12 Network, please voice your concern by emailing Ellen Filipiak, SVP for Customer Care at Direct TV. eafilipiak (at) directv (dot) com.

  • UB – Ultimate Bruin

    Is the DN NOT sending a reporter to cover the game??? WTF???? Pffff.

  • The Second Sentence reads…

    “Our Jill Painter is live from Houston and will have your recap.”

  • UB – Ultimate Bruin

    OK, thanks. I missed that sentence!

  • Rob M

    Time Warner Cable users: CBS Sports Channel is available if you subscribed to the Sports package. However, you get the new Pac12 Channel.

    I believe DirectTV users have CBS Sports Channel included for free, but they do not have the Pac12 Channel (yet, still under negotiations).

    I’m off to a sports bar to watch at 4:30p… stupid TWC…

  • Anonymous

    Yes-DirecTV has the CBS sports channel.

    Thanks for posting this Miguel. Always liked reading it in the paper.

    Go Bruins!

  • kiriba08

    I’m in the SoCal area with DirecTV and the game is being shown on channel 613 as part of my standard package.

  • Anonymous

    Time Warner channel users can get the TWC sports package to get the game and then cancel right after the game is over. It would cost $3 bucks to cancel but it would be still cheaper than going to a bar to watch. I mean, who only spends $3 bucks at a bar while staying there 3 1/2 hours?

  • Attention

    Per UCLA press release, I believe the game will be on radio on 1150 AM locally not 570.

  • anon

    TWC users, keep the sport package for Pac-12 Network LA. Right now they have UCLA Bball in China against Shanghai and get to preview how good is Kyle Anderson!!!!

  • Bruintx

    UB – thanks for the e-mail address. I sent Ellen my 2 cents.

  • BE REAL

    Wow, what a game. Hundley scores a td on his very first college play, some 70 yards. And then he gets a td pass. And then Franklin goes upteem yards for a td, and it is 19-0 ucla

    What a runaway.

    Oops. Rice has a QB and their defense finally “gets” ucla’s offense, and the score is suddenly 19-17.

    Game on. And to be continued