The Bruins face a new type of opponent on Saturday, marking the first time an HBCU program has visited the Rose Bowl. And instead of the record-breaking heat of a week ago, the two teams may have to face the rain this time.
WHO: UCLA vs. State of Alabama
DATE: Saturday 10 September
TIME: 2:07 p.m. PT
POSITION: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA
TV: Pac-12 Networks – JB Long (Play-by-Play), Nigel Burton (Analyst)
STREAM: fuboTV (start free trial)
RADIO: AM 1150, Sirius Ch. 85, XM Ch. 198, SXM App 960 – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook (sideline reporter)
DISTRIBUTION: UCLA -52 (-109), State of Alabama +52 (-112)*
MONEY LINE: N / A
ABOUT UNDER: O 62 (-114), U 62 (-107)*
UCLA was in the Votes Received section of the most recent AP Poll and USA Today Coaches Poll, ranking #41 and #38, respectively. The state of Alabama is unranked and received no votes.
In the preseason Pac-12 media poll, UCLA was ranked fourth. In the preseason SWAC media poll, Alabama State was selected fourth out of six teams in the East Division, but one pundit had them cemented as division champions.
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UCLA went 8-4 in 2021 and is 19-25 in over four years under coach Chip Kelly. The Bruins maintained 58% of their performance from last season, with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, running back Zach Charbonnet, safety Stephan Blaylock and defensive end Bo Calvert highlight the returning talent.
Thompson-Robinson threw for 2,409 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions with a 62.2% completion rate last season, and he is entering his fifth year as a starter for the Bruins. Charbonnet rushed for 1,137 yards while sharing carries with Brittain Brown, who was replaced by Keegan Jones, and receiver Jake Bobo pulled 74 passes for 794 yards back to Duke.
Calvert recorded 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks, leading all returning Bruins in those categories. North Texas transfer edge rushers Gabriel and Grayson Murphy are attracting the most attention after amassing 27.0 tackles for losses and 16 sacks for Mean Green a year ago, while Hawaii transfer linebacker Darius Muasau , over 100 tackles in a row delivered seasons for the Rainbow Warriors.
UCLA scored 36.5 points per game and allowed 26.8 in 2021. The Bruins picked up 226.2 yards per game through the air, plus another 220.1 on the ground.
In Week 1, UCLA defeated Bowling Green 45-17 and beat the Falcons 626-162.
Alabama State went 5-6 in 2021 but hired alumnus Eddie Robinson Jr. to take over as head coach in November. The Hornets haven’t had a winning season since 2015 and haven’t fared well against recent Power Five opponents Auburn, Florida State and Kentucky.
Myles Crawley and Dematrius Davis have shared quarterback time so far in 2022. Crawley completed 53.9% of his passes for 459 yards, five touchdowns, one interception and a 135.5 passer rating last year while Davis switched from Auburn.
Jacory Merrit was the Hornets’ lead rusher in 2021 with 422 yards and five touchdowns on 120 attempts, but he’s averaging just 2.8 yards per carry in 2022. Davis, meanwhile, is a real double threat that also adds to the ongoing game. Receivers Isaiah Scott and La’Vontae Shenault — a former Colorado wideout and brother of the Carolina Panthers’ Laviska Shenault — are the only targets in the passing game with more than four catches and 60 yards so far this season.
Alabama State scored 21.8 points per game and allowed 28.2 in 2021. The Hornets threw 303.1 yards per game through the air, plus another 351.8 on the ground.
In Week 0, Alabama State beat Howard 23-13. In week 1 they beat miles 21-13.
UCLA has never played a head-to-head against Alabama State, nor has it played against a team currently in SWAC.
*Odds via Action Network
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