The Bruins will take a trip far up north to try and start off their toughest stretch of the season on the right foot.
WHO: UCLA vs. Washington
DATE: Saturday, Oct. 16
TIME: 5:30 p.m. PT
LOCATION: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington
TV: FOX – Tom Brando (play-by-play), Spencer Tillman (analyst)
STREAMING: fuboTV – Get 7-day Free Trial
RADIO: AM 1150/AM 570, Sirius Ch. 85, XM Ch. 85, SXM App 85 – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook (sideline reporter)
SPREAD: Washington -1.5 (-110), UCLA +1.5 (-105)*
MONEY LINE: Washington (-120), UCLA (+105)*
OVER/UNDER: O 55 (-110), U 55 (-105)*
UCLA dropped entirely out of the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls following its win over Arizona, not earning a single point after being No. 20 in both polls as recently as two weeks ago. Washington, which started the year at No. 20, has yet to receive a vote since the preseason.
The Bruins have opened their season 4-2, covering the spread in all four of their wins and failing to cover in each of their losses. Dating back to the start of last season, UCLA is 3-2 on the road and 4-1 against the spread in those games.
Washington is 2-3 to start 2021, losing to FCS program Montana at home to kick off their season. The Huskies have just one win against the spread this year, and it came when they were 16.5-point favorites ahead of their 52-3 win over Arkansas State out of the Sun Belt.
Only one of Washington's five contests this year have resulted in over 55 combined points, and one of their games ended at exactly 55. UCLA, on the other hand, has seen four of its six games exceed that mark, with another falling just short at 54 points.
Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is still No. 2 in the Pac-12 in passer rating, and he has now taken sole possession of the top spot for touchdowns responsible for with 15. The senior signal-caller has turned the ball over just three times in six games this season after never averaging fewer than one giveaway a game in any of his previous three campaigns. He continues to start slow – with his 1-of-8 first half performance against Arizona certainly standing out – but statistically, he is still one of the best at his position in the conference.
Running back Zach Charbonnet has seen his efficiency drop off since the start of the season, but he has gotten back on track in the gross categories with Brittain Brown joining him as well. Both ball-carriers rank in the top 10 in the Pac-12 for yards per attempt, rushing touchdowns and rushing yards, for which they rank No. 2 and No. 3. Receiver Kyle Philips leads the Pac-12 in touchdown catches and ranks sixth in receiving yards, with tight end Greg Dulcich not far behind him in seventh.
Linebacker Bo Calvert ranks in the conference's top 10 in both tackles for loss and sacks, while edge rusher Mitchell Agude is still tied for the top spot in the nation in forced fumbles with four. Safety Qwuantrezz Knight is tied with Calvert for the team lead in tackles for loss with 5.5 in six games and also leads the team in total tackles with 38.
UCLA averages 35.2 points per game while allowing 26.5.
Washington is averaging 24.8 points per game, ranking No. 91 in the country. Its defense, which is allowing 19.6 points per game, ranks just outside the top 30.
Quarterback Dylan Morris has seen his stats dip in every single category in his second year as Washington's starter. Morris' 123.9 passer rating is good for No. 10 in the Pac-12 and he sits just one touchdown above having a 1:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio for the second year in a row. Against non-Power Five opponents – Montana and Arkansas State – Morris has three touchdowns and five interceptions.
Morris does a good job of spreading the ball around, however, as he has three receivers with between 15 and 20 receptions and between 220 and 265 yards. Taj Davis, Terrell Bynum and Jalen McMillan are the most reliable receiving threats, with tight end Cade Otton also chipping in with nearly 50 receiving yards per game. Otton, an All-Pac-12 honoree from last season, missed the last two games due to COVID-19, but he is expected back on the field Saturday.
While running back Richard Newton leads the Huskies in touches out of the backfield, running back Sean McGrew has him beat in yards, yards per carry and rushing touchdowns this season. Newton was the starter earlier in the year but has since been a healthy scratch, with McGrew taking over and exceeding expectations by picking up 200 yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage in three games.
The Huskies' defense is taking the ball away just over once per game, led by cornerback Kyler Gordon and his two interceptions with four pass deflections. Washington's pass rush is getting fewer than 2.0 sacks per game, but when they do get home, it's coming from all over the place. Interior lineman Faatui Tuitele leads the team with 3.0 sacks, with linebacker Ryan Bowman and nickel back Brendan Radley-Hiles chipping in 2.0 sacks of their own.
Washington has outgained its opponents in three of its five games, losing despite winning the yardage battle against Montana and Oregon State, and winning despite losing the yardage battle to Cal.
UCLA owns the all-time head-to-head series with Washington 39-33-2, winning 13 of the last 18, but losing three of five since the start of the 2010s. UCLA lost each of its last two road games in Seattle by a total of 36 points.
Most recently, the Bruins lost to the Huskies 31-24 at the Rose Bowl in 2018 when an onside kick attempt at the end almost gave them a chance to complete a fourth quarter comeback.
*Odds via SI Sportsbook