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UCLA vs. Arizona State College Football Predictions: Week 10

The All Bruins staff made their picks for how Saturday's game against the Sun Devils is going to go down.

The Bruins could be facing a trap game on the road this weekend.

No. 12 UCLA football (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) will play Arizona State (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday. The Bruins enter the game as 11-point road favorites coming off a 38-13 win over Stanford, while the Sun Devils beat Colorado and have won two out of their last three.

All Bruins is making its picks for who will win, what the score will be and how the game will play out, courtesy of Managing Editor Sam Connon and contributing writer Benjamin Royer.

Sam Connon, Managing Editor

Prediction: UCLA 38, Arizona State 27

Ever since Chip Kelly took over, the Bruins don't lose to bad teams.

A lot has been made over the past few years about how UCLA doesn't beat good teams, but the inverse is at least a positive in Kelly's favor. Against teams that finished .500 or below, the Bruins have won 16 in a row dating back to Week 7 of 2019. 

Bowling Green, Colorado and Stanford are included in that bucket for this year, making the Bruins 3-0 in such games this season.

And don't forget it – the Sun Devils are not a good team. Their defense may have gotten better in four consecutive weeks, but that lines up perfectly with the quarterbacks they've played.

The passing yards and completion percentage they allowed to Colorado's JT Shrout were lower than what they allowed to Stanford's Tanner McKee, which were lower than what they allowed to Washington's Michael Penix Jr., which were lower than what they allowed to USC's Caleb Williams. Basically, the pass defense looks alright against bad quarterbacks and it looks awful against great quarterbacks.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson certainly falls into the latter category, and he has had plenty of success against Arizona State in the past. In his three starts against the Sun Devils, Thompson-Robinson has completed more than 65% of his passes each time out, thrown more passing yards than the previous matchup and avoided throwing an interception altogether.

Arizona State is going to be in for a rude awakening when it comes to what Thompson-Robinson can do through the air and on the ground, and that isn't even mentioning Zach Charbonnet, who is the hottest running back in the West.

The Sun Devils will surely put some points up on the board, boasting a red-hot quarterback of their own who has already carved up Washington and Colorado on very high volume. Arizona State is no Oregon, though, and interim coach Shaun Aguano has very little chance of outdueling Kelly schematically.

The last time Kelly faced off with an interim coach, he dismantled Donte Williams and USC to a historic degree in 2021. He may have been outmatched against Dan Lanning and Oregon earlier this year, but Kelly has gone head-to-head and won coaching battles against Kyle Whittingham, Kalen DeBoer and David Shaw in the past month alone.

Kelly will hold strong as a favorite once again, asserting him dominance as an Xs and Os guy leading one of the most prolific and star-driven offenses in the nation.

Benjamin Royer, contributing writer

Prediction: UCLA 34, Arizona State 28

The Bruins should make easy work of the Sun Devils down in Tempe.

It should be noted that since 2010, UCLA and Arizona State have split their six games in the desert 3-3. Mixed with the Bruins’ struggles against the Sun Devils at home in 2021, there would be some reason for many to label this as a “trap game” under normal circumstances.

Trenton Bourguet has emerged as the Sun Devils’ trusty first-string quarterback, while the dynamic presence of Xazavian Valladay at running back is something the Bruins haven't faced in quite some time.

However, coach Chip Kelly has plenty of pieces to stave off any upset attempt.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet may be the most important quarterback-running back duo in the nation. The pair of veteran All-Pac-12 candidates possess plenty of potential for gamebreaking plays, which UCLA's offense feeds off of on the regular.

Holding Stanford to just 13 points last Saturday should not go unnoticed either. Arizona State will feature a similar talent level of a team going through its rebuilding years, and the Bruins should be able to take advantage of players learning their place within the unstable and undefined schemes.

At the end of the game, the score will show a tight-fought contest, but UCLA should win comfortably, even away from home.

Follow Connon on Twitter at @SamConnon
Follow Royer on Twitter at @thebenroyer
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