No. 17 UCLA at Cal: Who has the edge?

No. 17 UCLA (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) vs. Cal (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12)

When: Friday, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Memorial Stadium

TV/Radio: FOX, AM 570

Line: UCLA by 10

Notable injury designations:

UCLA: Out: DL Martin Andrus. Questionable: DL Gary Smith III, DB Devin Kirkwood.

Cal: Questionable: DB Lu-Magia Hearns III. Probable: DB Collin Gamble, OL Braxten Croteau, LB Ryan Puskas, LB Kaleb Higgins.

What’s at stake? UCLA’s conference title aspirations were squashed last week, but the Bruins can still improve upon last season’s record in their two remaining games and put themselves in position for a quality bowl game. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who played a large part of the team’s breakthrough into the national spotlight earlier this season, will want to finish off his collegiate career on some happy notes.

Who’s better? UCLA holds the talent and experience edge, though both quarterbacks are veterans. The difference lies in the respective offensive lines, which for UCLA has largely protected Thompson-Robinson and provided Zach Charbonnet with running room. The same cannot be said for Cal. Defensively, Thompson-Robinson should be able to pick apart the Bears’ secondary.

Matchup to watch: UCLA defensive line vs. Cal offensive line. The Bruins should not be chasing around Jack Plummer as much as they were trying to catch USC’s Caleb Williams last week. For a defense that needs to get back on track, Cal’s offensive line — that has had nine different starters this season — offers a chance for some pressure and sacks on Plummer.

UCLA wins if … If the Bruins are quick to forget about the emotional defeat to USC. … If Thompson-Robinson takes care of the ball. … If the defense can get pressure on Plummer.

Prediction: UCLA 48, Cal 35.

Like it has been all season long, the Bruins should have no problem scoring points. The wild card is the defense, which should be hungry for a good …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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