First look: UCLA vs. Oregon

Oregon running back Royce Freeman (21) carries for a first down against Arizona State during the first half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

UCLA (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) vs. Oregon (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12)
Saturday, Oct. 21 | 1 p.m. PT | Rose Bowl
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: AM 1150 or AM 570

Scouting report

Justin Herbert was starting to emerge as next star quarterback in the Pac-12 before breaking his collarbone against California on Sept. 30. In his absence, the Ducks have lost two straight games by a combined score of 82-17.

Herbert was averaging 252.8 passing yards per game while completing 68.3 percent of his passes. True freshman Braxton Burmeister musters only 57.3 yards per game. Burmeister was benched in the third quarter of Oregon’s loss to Stanford for former walk-on Taylor Alie and the two quarterbacks combined for 33 yards on 5-for-13 passing against the Cardinal Burmeister threw two interceptions and only three completions.

Despite a struggling passing game, the Ducks still have running back Royce Freeman, whose 113.9 rushing yards per game rank third in the conference.

Before Bryce Love added them to his growing list of victims, the Ducks were ranked inside the top-10 nationally in rushing defense last week. They’ve since fallen to 22nd in the country, allowing 115.7 rushing yards per game, which still ranks second in the Pac-12.

Series history

Other than Stanford, Oregon is the only Pac-12 opponent Jim Mora has yet to defeat. The Bruins have only faced the Ducks twice in Mora’s tenure, the last time being in 2014 when the Ducks won 42-30 at the Rose Bowl en route to a national championship game berth in the first-ever College Football Playoff.

The No. 18 Bruins were down 35-10 after three quarters. They outgained the No. 12 Ducks 553-468, but committed two turnovers that both led to Oregon touchdowns. Paul Perkins rushed for 190 yards on 22 carries while Brett Hundley threw for 216 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Marcus Mariota was 17-of-27 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite a six-game losing streak in the overall series, the Bruins still lead 22-14. Their last win was in 2007.

Players to watch

— RB Royce Freeman (133 carries, 797 rushing yards, 10 TDs)

Freeman was the lone bright spot on offense for the Ducks last week against Stanford as he rushed for 143 yards on 18 carries. In 2014, he was named the Pac-12’s Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and ran for 121 yards in the game against UCLA that season.

— LB Troy Dye (62 tackles, 7 TFLs, 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble)

After a standout freshman season, Dye is again leading his team in tackles and is tied for fourth in the Pac-12 in tackles per game (8.9).

— DL Jalen Jelks (31 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks)

The 6-foot-6, 268-pound defensive end had a career game against Arizona State on Sept. 23 with career-highs in tackles (nine), tackles for loss (five) and sacks (three). He is second in the Pac-12 in tackles for loss.

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  • UCLA Dynasty

    If we don’t beat Oregon and their 2016 UCLA like backup QB situation, we will not win another game this season.

  • grave soul

    This may be Mora’s last chance to show that he can beat Oregon.

    • Jethro G Sabbath

      Quick, sign him to an extension!