What to watch: No. 22 UCLA at Oregon State

Jim Mora has never beaten Oregon State. This is not because the Beavers have been at the top of the Pac-12, or that they have held some special insight in how to exploit UCLA’s game plans. The two teams simply haven’t played each other since 2012.

OSU was the team that handed Mora his first loss with the Bruins, delivering a 27-20 upset at the Rose Bowl in his fourth game as a college football coach.

That was before anyone realized that UCLA was on the ascent, en route to a 29 wins in three seasons — including three straight over rival USC. Before anyone realized that Mike Riley, thought by many to be a Corvallis lifer, would win just 19 more games with the Beavers before leaving to Nebraska.

Oregon State hosts UCLA (6-2, 3-2) at 1:30 p.m. today in the midst of a difficult first season under Gary Andersen. Despite the 51-year-old’s success at Wisconsin and Utah State, he has yet to guide the Beavers (2-6, 0-5) to a win over a Pac-12 opponent.

When UCLA has the ball

In his six years as Utah’s defensive coordinator, Kalani Sitake orchestrated what was perennially one of the most aggressive and effective schemes west of the Rocky Mountains. Through his tenure, the Utes averaged more than 35 sacks per season, peaking last year with an FBS-leading 55 sacks.

Getting Oregon State to that level will take some time. Continue reading “What to watch: No. 22 UCLA at Oregon State” »