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UCLA football (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) is scheduled to kick off its Week 8 game against Oregon (5-1, 2-1) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

The Bruins have won back-to-back games after dropping two out of three, slowly working their way back into the picture towards the top of the conference. The Ducks' last game was a narrow victory over Cal that came down to the final moments, and before that, they had their undefeated season cut short at the hands of Stanford.

Heading into the Week 8 matchup, here are the most pressing questions we want to have answered by the final whistle.

Can the pass defense keep it up?

In their last five quarters of work, the Bruin secondary has really stepped it up.

Since Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud went down with an injury on the second play of the fourth quarter two weeks ago, UCLA has limited opposing quarterbacks to a 115.6 passer rating. That included two interceptions off of Washington's Dylan Morris by safety Quentin Lake and cornerback Devin Kirkwood.

Those were the first interceptions the Bruins recorded since Week 3 against Fresno State. The secondary had also been allowing 321.4 yards per game leading up to the matchup with the Wildcats, but is allowing just 212 since.

Now, Arizona and Washington are two of the worst teams in the Pac-12, without question. Their respective offenses are also towards the bottom of the conference, and neither Morris or McCloud's replacement, Gunner Cruz, has held onto their job since losing to UCLA.

As mediocre of a season Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown has strung together to this point, he is better than Morris and Cruz. The Ducks' offensive line is also better, so it may be difficult for the Bruins to create as much pressure in the pocket as they did against the Wildcats and Huskies that led to sacks and turnovers.

Brown is not the best downfield passer around, though, so maybe UCLA can take another step forward with its pass defense at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

Will Dorian Thompson-Robinson put together a complete game?

The biggest gripe people had with Thompson-Robinson in the first half of the season was his inability to turn in a consistent, solid performance from start to finish.

For maybe the first time all year, he had one against Washington last week.

Entering that game, Thompson-Robinson was completing 48.5% of his passes for 7.4 yards per attempt and a 119.5 passer rating in first halves, compared to a 65.7% completion percentage, 10.2 yards per attempt and 189.2 passer rating in second halves. Even with that major discrepancy, Thompson-Robinson boasted the best total passer rating in the Pac-12, so clearly the overall talent and production was there.

Thompson-Robinson came out of the gates firing on all cylinders against the Huskies, completing 10 of his 12 passes and leading the UCLA offense to 17 first half points. In the second half, he completed 11 of his 14 passes and even went 8-for-8 on what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown drive.

When it was time for the Bruins to kill the clock, Thompson-Robinson came through in the clutch with his legs, picking up a couple first downs to seal the victory.

UCLA needs Thompson-Robinson to play an efficient first half, so that when the game is close down the stretch, he can pull through with the kind of top-notch second-half production that Oregon hasn't faced so far this year.

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The Ducks were playing close games heading into the fourth quarter against Arizona, Stanford and Cal, and part of the reason they were able to eke things out was because they weren't playing a quarterback of Thompson-Robinson's caliber. Unlike McCloud, Tanner McKee and Chase Garbers, Thompson-Robinson is a closer.

So all he has to do is keep his team in it by starting off anything but ice cold, so when the moment comes, he can strike down Oregon when it matters most.

How will the Bruins perform in the spotlight?

ESPN's College GameDay is in Westwood for the first time ever, with UCLA hosting the crew for the first time since they came to Pasadena in 1998.

That same season, the Bruins started 10-0 and were right in the thick of the national championship conversation before falling off against Miami in the regular season finale and Nebraska in the Rose Bowl.

It would take a long time to dive into that full late-season collapse and the decades of missed opportunities and mediocrity that followed, but the fact of the matter is that UCLA has not been seriously, prominently or consistently featured on the national stage since then.

It isn't as if this single game against Oregon is going to save the program's reputation and set them up for a run at a national title this year, that's too much to ask from a two-loss team in a regular season game. Still, playing on GameDay against a top-10 team is still an opportunity for the Bruins to stand out from the mess out west and make the most of everything working in their favor – a big media market, coach Chip Kelly's dormant star power, great facilities, an iconic stadium and so much more.

To get back the respect they had earlier in the year and a quarter century ago, UCLA needs to get back into the top 25. To get back into the top 25, UCLA needs to win Saturday.

From there, anything is possible, but placing such massive stakes on this game alone is very reasonable for anyone keeping tabs on the Bruins.

Is this UCLA's last chance to position itself for a Pac-12 title?

Putting the national implications aside for a moment, the Bruins still have life in their pursuit of a conference championship.

Losing to Arizona State was a setback, and UCLA lost control of its own destiny that night. But the Sun Devils just lost, so the Bruins only need to outpace them by one win over the final five Pac-12 games in order to finish above them.

Utah, which beat Arizona State, proved formidable in that game and the week prior against USC. As threatening as the Utes may be in the South division title race, UCLA plays them next week, so whoever wins that will earn the head-to-head.

The head-to-head advantage is really just a tiebreaker though, and a tiebreaker isn't much help if you aren't tied. Losing to the Ducks on Saturday would set the Bruins back not only in comparison to Oregon, but also to both the Sun Devils and Utes.

UCLA's chances of winning the Pac-12 South went up from 4.4% to 10.8% after it beat Washington, according to ESPN's College Football Power Index. A win over Oregon could bump those chances up even higher, possibly high enough for the Bruins to be considered the favorite moving forward.

A loss, on the other hand, would probably take UCLA below that 4.4% mark they held a week ago, and any chance at sneaking into the Pac-12 championship game or Rose Bowl would essentially be reduced to zero.

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