The Sooners will travel to Los Angeles this Saturday to take on the Bruins of UCLA. Although, these teams seem to be headed in opposite directions as far as postseason aspirations it should be an interesting matchup. Here is our Oklahoma vs UCLA preview.
The Rose Bowl in Pasadena should be on every die-hard college football fan’s bucket list. The Rose Bowl is the home of countless college football battles. Classic battles including historic games played by great teams including UCLA, USC, Michigan State, Notre Dame, to name just a few. Now the Sooners return to this classic venue.
Oklahoma vs UCLA Preview
The Bruins are off to a dismal 0-2 start. After the second loss of the season, this one to San Diego St the team held the dreaded “players only” meeting. Reportedly, there was not a lot of finger-pointing. Conversely, most of the players are accepting responsibility for playing poorly.
However, it has been rumored some of the players are not pleased with some of the coaches. That seems to be directed for the most part at defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro. With that being said it appears the Bruins are really struggling on the offensive side of the ball. UCLA has only managed to score 14 points in each of its first two contests.
Fan expectations were high coming into the 2019 season. After the poor start, there appear to be grumblings from fans that Chip Kelly is not the answer. This is evidenced by the poor attendance this past weekend. The attendance was less than 37,000 in a 90,000 plus seat stadium.
On a positive note, the defense doesn’t seem to be the biggest issue. The defense has allowed 23.5 points a game thus far. The offense just needs to keep the defense off the field as the season progresses.
Oklahoma doesn’t seem to have missed a beat despite the loss of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray. Jalen Hurts is leading the offense seamlessly while putting up Heisman trophy like numbers through the first two games. No team in America can rival the receiving talent at Oklahoma. The Sooners have averaged 59.5 points a game thus far compared to 14 for the Bruins.
Meanwhile, the sore spot for Oklahoma the last few years has been an abysmal defense. The Sooner defense appears to be on the rise comparatively. The defense has allowed an average of 22.5 points a game through two games this year. Possibly that should contain an asterisk, with one of the opponents coming from the FCS. That balances out somewhat, as the University of Houston arguably has the best offense the Sooners will face during the 2019 regular season.
All things considered, the biggest question mark for the Sooners is still on the defensive side of the ball. Conversely, the next biggest concern is the offensive line. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of talent here but not much experience.
The Final Thought
In conclusion, UCLA has many unanswered questions, especially from the offense. It doesn’t seem the offense will find many answers to those questions this Saturday.
In contrast, if the Oklahoma defense struggles with the UCLA offense it may create a lot of questions for Alex Grinch and the defensive coaching staff.
Don’t expect much of an improvement for the Bruins Saturday. The Sooners will cruise to an easy win in Pasadena, creating more pressure for Kelly and his coaching staff.
UCLA has problems with morale, a disgruntled fan base, and a struggling offense. Oklahoma has a high powered offense and an improving defense. With this said it boils down to a Sooner victory in the historic Rose Bowl in scenic Pasadena.