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Predicting No. 10 Oregon vs. UCLA

The Ducks face their biggest test of the Pac-12 slate so far when they travel to Pasadena to take on Chip Kelly and UCLA on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

In one of the biggest blockbusters of the Pac-12 schedule this year, the No. 10 Oregon Ducks face the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl. The Ducks slid past the Bruins, who were without starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, 38-35 at Autzen last season in a down-to-the-wire battle. Here are our team's predictions for Saturday's game.

Max Torres (@mtorressports)

UCLA's offense can hurt you in a lot of different ways, and Oregon's defense, although getting healthier, is still adjusting to the loss of Bennett Williams and hasn't forced a turnover in two games. Turnovers were a huge reason why the Ducks were able to put away Arizona (albeit very late), but one could also argue it was part of the reason they lost to Stanford. Penalties or not, the Cardinal won the turnover battle in a game where every drive was more critical than the last.

I think Oregon will be able to move the ball decently on the ground, but if I'm UCLA, I'm keying in on the run and making Anthony Brown beat me through the air. That could be easier said than done, as the Ducks average 210 yards on the ground per game. But beating teams with his arm isn't something Brown has done all year, save maybe week 2 against the Buckeyes.

I think this game is going to be a very close battle that could come down to the wire, but I'm giving the edge to UCLA by just a hair. Sure Oregon's defense is getting better and the return of Kayvon Thibodeaux for a full game will be huge, but college football is dominated by the teams who can generate big plays and outscore their opponents. 

I think Oregon's lack of a consistent passing attack could be what proves to be the difference against UCLA.

Prediction: UCLA 28 Oregon 24

Dylan Mickanen (@DylanMickanen)

This game originally opened with the Ducks being favored by two points, and the market has quickly shifted in favor of the Bruins. Unfortunately, I think the public has this one correct.

Oregon has played unimpressively every week this season, sans the Ohio State win. This team can play up to its opponent as demonstrated in Columbus, but the further we get from that monumental victory, the more of an outlier it seems.

Chip Kelly will have the Bruins ready to go with the nation's No. 10 team coming into the Rose Bowl and College GameDay in town to boot. While it's possible the Ducks put together their second-most impressive performance of the season, the lackluster play of Anthony Brown, injury to CJ Verdell and a defense allowing a Pac-12-worst 407.8 yards per game have me favoring the Bruins as well.

The key X-factor for Oregon is Kayvon Thibodeaux, who has yet to play a full game this season. If he can even get close to duplicating his 50% pressure rate from last weekend, the Ducks should be able to win the game. If he can't, I'm quite pessimistic.

I think the Ducks start slow, make it a game in the second half but a late-Bruins touchdown is enough to secure the victory, a la the loss at Arizona State in 2019.

Prediction: UCLA 34 Oregon 24

Dylan Reubenking (@drksportsnews)

This is going to be the toughest test for the Ducks since the Ohio State game and may be the biggest test remaining on the schedule. If the Ducks are going to prove to the critics, their fans, and the College Football Playoff committee that they mean business, an impressive win must come on Saturday in Pasadena.

Oregon must find a rhythm in the run game as UCLA boasts one of the stingier defensive fronts in the country, and I think Travis Dye will leave his mark on this game. I expect Anthony Brown to go toe-to-toe with Dorian Thompson-Robinson and pull off another clutch performance to lift the Ducks to a resumé-building victory at a venue they have had so much glory in within the past decade.

Prediction: Oregon 34 UCLA 28


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John Rustik (@j_rustik)

While the Ducks have continuously played down to the level of their opponent, I think this will be their most complete performance since the upset in Columbus. Both teams have a strong running game, and UCLA’s run defense has been phenomenal so far this season.

Travis Dye will have to be perfect against UCLA, and the three freshmen backs in Seven McGee, Trey Benson, and Byron Cardwell will have to be ready to make an impact in the game. Defensively, the Ducks will need to bring pressure, so look for Kayvon Thibodeaux to have a big game.

I think this game has the potential to be one of the higher scoring games of the Pac-12 this season. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bruins come out on top, I still think the Ducks do just enough to escape LA with a win.

Prediction: Oregon 38 UCLA 35

Nick Battey (@nickbat22)

The Ducks are underdogs for the first time since they beat Ohio State in week two of the season. Mario Cristobal’s teams seem to rise to the occasion in big matchups like this one. With the spotlight on the Rose Bowl this week, I think the Ducks will play much closer to the level they did against Ohio State than how they played against Stanford and Cal recently. However, Anthony Brown and Travis Dye are both going to have to be on their A-game to beat the Bruins on Saturday.

I believe this will be a statement game for the Ducks. There has been a lot of chatter about what is wrong with this team lately, and I think this is the week the team comes together and puts together a full 60-minute performance to beat the Bruins and reinforce their standing atop the Pac-12 Conference.

Prediction: Oregon 38 UCLA 36

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