UCLA must beat Arizona State to keep its Rose Bowl hopes alive. Here’s how the matchups break down. (Prediction below.)
UCLA offense vs. Arizona State defense: Brett Hundley’s current three-game streak without an interception is the longest of his career. The Sun Devils have 17 picks on the season, tied for first in the Pac-12 and seventh nationally.
Cornerback Robert Nelson is coming off a career game, taking one of his two interceptions against Oregon State to the end zone. Continue reading
– Running back Jordon James is also expected to play after missing five of UCLA’s last six games. Coach Jim Mora admitted that he should not have let James play against Colorado, a game in which the junior tweaked his ankle after six carries.
“That’s on me,” he said. “He wanted to play, but sometimes the coach’s job is to protect him from himself. … But he’s really been good this week.
“Last week, when he was going to his left and trying to catch a swing pass, he couldn’t put his right foot in the ground and burst off of it. This week, I haven’t seen anything. I haven’t seen him limp, I haven’t seen him favor it at all on any of the cuts.”
Senior Malcolm Jones has also been cleared to play after taking a blow to the head on Friday. Continue reading
No. 14 UCLA (8-2, 5-2) vs. No. 17 Arizona State (8-2, 6-1)
Location: Rose Bowl, Nov. 23, 4 p.m.
TV: FOX (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Last meeting: UCLA eked out a 45-43 win in Tempe, with then-freshman Ka’imi Fairbairn hitting a 33-yard field goal as time expired. Tailback Johnathan Franklin rushed for two touchdowns, while Damien Thigpen had two scoring catches.
– After an upset of Stanford, many USC players called for the school to retain Ed Orgeron as head coach. NBC Sports’ Chris Huston, also known as the Heisman Pundit, argues against removing the “interim” tag.
– Utah quarterback Travis Wilson’s career might be over after a post-concussion exam revealed a pre-existing neurological condition.
– Washington State has extended Mike Leach through the 2018 season.
Despite a 41-31 win over Washington, UCLA fell a spot to No. 14 in the latest Associated Press poll — switching spots with No. 13 Michigan State.
The Spartans moved up after a 41-28 win at Nebraska that clinched a share of the Big Ten Legends title.
The two teams also made the same switch in the USA Today coaches poll.
USC, still tied with the Bruins for second in the Pac-12 South, moved back into the AP poll to No. 23 after its 20-17 upset of Stanford. It was the Trojans’ first win over the now-No. 10 Cardinal since 2008.
The full rankings after the jump: Continue reading