The final nonconference matchup of the season is up next for the Bruins, and it comes against an in-state foe with a recent history of success at the Rose Bowl.
WHO: UCLA vs. Fresno State
DATE: Saturday, Sept. 18
TIME: 7:45 p.m. PT
LOCATION: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA
TV: Pac-12 Networks – Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Yogi Roth (analyst)
STREAMING: fuboTV – Get 7-day Free Trial
RADIO: AM 570, Sirius Ch. 137, XM Ch. 197, SXM App 959 – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook (sideline reporter)
SPREAD: UCLA -10.5 (-110), Fresno State +10.5 (-110)*
MONEY LINE: UCLA (-400), Fresno State (+320)*
OVER/UNDER: O 63 (-108), U 63 (-112)*
UCLA came in at No. 13 in the latest AP and USA Today Coaches Polls, moving up from No. 16 the week prior despite being on bye for Week 2. Fresno State received two points from the AP and 13 from the coaches, ranking No. 43 and No. 41 in each poll, respectively.
The Bruins 2-0 at home so far this season and covered the spread in both of those games.
Fresno State wrapped up its 2020 season with a 3-3 record overall and 2-2 record away from home. The team is 2-1 to start 2021, sandwiching a seven-point loss to No. 4 Oregon with blowouts wins over UConn and Cal Poly.
The Bulldogs are 3-0 against the spread, but only one of their three games has ended with over 63 combined points scored. The Bruins' games have also only hit that mark once so far this year.
Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads the Pac-12 in passer rating, passing touchdowns and yards per attempt, but ranks No. 8 in yards and No. 12 in completion percentage.
Running back Zach Charbonnet has a far more consistent hold on the conference rushing leaderboards with his 223 yards and 13.1 yards per carry both sitting atop the Pac-12 and his four touchdowns just one away from No. 1. Brittain Brown also ranks in the top five in the conference for rushing yards and top 10 for yards per attempt, while Greg Dulcich's 132 receiving yards are most among Pac-12 tight ends.
Edge rusher Mitchell Agude leads the nation in forced fumbles with four, and he also leads or co-leads the Bruins in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks. As a team, UCLA has picked off three passes and swatted down another 13 through two games.
Quarterback Jake Haener needed just three games to surpass 1,000 passing yards on the season, and his 195.8 passer rating is eighth-best in the country and top on the West Coast. Haener has tossed eight touchdowns and run for another three, equalling the scoring output of his team's running backs.
Despite being the lead back, Ronnie Rivers is far more of a threat out of the backfield than he is on the ground – he has 128 receiving yards on 10 catches compared to 162 rushing yards on 41 carries. Josh Kelly and Jalen Cropper are Haener's top-two targets, combining for 153 yards and nearly two touchdowns per game.
The Bulldogs' defense has limited its opponents to 155 passing yards and 91.3 rushing yards per game, led by safety Evan Williams, defensive end Arron Mosby and linebacker Levelle Bailey.
UCLA owns the all-time head-to-head series 6-3, but a lot of players set to take the field Saturday haven't even been alive for a Bruin win over the Bulldogs. UCLA won the first six matchups between the two teams, dating back to 1927 and going up until 2000. Fresno State has won three in a row, however, including two at the Rose Bowl.
Most recently, the Bulldogs bested the Bruins 38-14 in Pasadena back in 2018 – coach Chip Kelly's first season in Westwood.
*Odds via BetOnline