The 2017 UCLA Bruins are a known quantity at this point, it would seem. The Bruins are a great passing team, they can’t run the ball, they can’t stop the run and they can’t win on the road.
Harsh? Maybe. But so far it’s true. What’s also true is that the Bruins are going to be in a dogfight to win 6 games this season and become bowl eligible. That makes this Saturday’s game versus Oregon a must-win situation.
As Jon Wilner of The Mercury News points out, UCLA’s schedule is very difficult down the stretch:
The Bruins are 3-3 with Oregon in town Saturday and grueling finish ahead: at Washington, at Utah, Arizona State, at USC and California.
How many wins are reasonably available in that group? Two seems about right. They probably aren’t winning in Seattle, and they probably aren’t winning in Salt Lake City, especially on a short-week turnaround.
Maybe they beat ASU and Cal. Maybe they beat one and surprise USC.
Either way, the math seems clear: The Bruins have three wins right now; they need six; and they have, I’d guess, two available. They had better win Saturday.
The Ducks have been downright bad ever since QB Justin Herbert went down with a broken collarbone. Oregon has only scored 17 points over their past 2 games without Herbert and have been blown out by both Washington State and Stanford.
This is a perfect opportunity for the Bruins to notch their fourth win of the season and they will need to get it done. If not, coach Jim Mora could be in for a rude awakening come December. If the Bruins don’t make a bowl game, the coach could be looking for a new job in 2018.
UCLA and Oregon will kick off at 1 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network.