The UCLA Bruins will look to rebound after suffering their first loss of this season when they run with the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday night in Boulder (6 pm ET, Pac-12 Network).
Earlier this week the college football odds had UCLA favored by 21 points, and an ‘over/under’ of 60. But as of Friday morning most online sportsbooks had dropped the Bruins to -19.5.
UCLA had 16 starters back, including nine on defense, for its first season under new HC Jim Mora, Jr. The Bruins then kicked off the Mora era with a 49-24 win at Rice, then announced they might have a nice team with a 36-30 victory at home over Nebraska. UCLA then handled Houston 37-6, but in their Pac-12 opener last week the Bruins got beat at home by Oregon State 27-20, managing just 72 yards rushing for the game.
The Bruins had moved up to No. 19 in last week’s AP poll, but dropped out after the loss to the Beavers.
UCLA is young and a bit banged up along the offensive line, where it’s starting three freshmen.
Colorado, meanwhile, brought back just nine starters, just three on offense, from a team that went 3-10 last year. The Buffs then opened their season with a 22-17 loss to in-state rival Colorado State; gave up 476 yards in losing to FCS Sacramento State 30-28; and allowed 665 yards in an embarrassing 69-14 loss at Fresno State. But last week, as 18-point underdogs at Washington State, the Buffaloes got 345 yards passing from transfer QB Jordan Webb in rallying from down 31-14 in the fourth quarter to shock the Cougars 35-34.
Last year UCLA clobbered Colorado 45-6, jumping out to a 21-0 lead 10 minutes into the game and never looking back.
The weather could play a factor in this game. The forecast for Saturday night in Boulder calls for temps in the 50s with a chance of thunderstorms, which might favor a team that can run the ball.