ESPN's SP+ predicts the score of Oregon's game against UCLA
For the second week in a row, we have a Game of the Year candidate in the Pac-12. If Oregon’s battle with UCLA lives up to the hype similar to last week’s Utah-USC game, we’ll be in for quite the show.
The 10th-ranked Ducks host the ninth-ranked Bruins at Autzen Stadium on Saturday. The Ducks are 5-1, winners of five straight since the season-opening loss to Georgia. The Bruins are unbeaten at 6-0. Both are excellent and imposing at the line of scrimmage. Both have efficient offenses that can pile on points.
It has the makings of an excellent game.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ would agree with that sentiment. The predictive model has the Ducks winning 34-32.
That would certainly qualify as a statement win for first-year head coach Dan Lanning and his Oregon team. The surrounding noise with this game makes for a potentially season-defining win for either side, but specifically for Oregon a victory would do well to wash away the bad taste of that Georgia loss just a bit more.
It would also leave the Ducks as the only remaining unbeaten Pac-12 team in conference play, placing them squarely in the driver’s seat in the race to the Pac-12 title game.
“About to be a fun one,” Lanning said earlier this week “Obviously, it’s gonna be a great atmosphere for our players, but also our fans. I know me and everybody else in our organization is really excited to see our fans come out in full support. Obviously having College GameDay here is going to be a great event. Getting the opportunity to go against a top-10 team and a really worthy opponent is going to be a fun challenge for us and our players.
“I talked to our guys … that all this is here because of the work they’ve done. That’s why this is sitting in front of them, but really all this outside (noise) has nothing to do with what has to be done on the field and I think our guys realize that and are excited about the opportunity. Definitely excited to see our fans show up early and stay throughout the entire game, stay late, and enjoy the entire event of Saturday and go play this game.”
If SP+ is right, enjoy it they will.