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California (1-4) at (11) UCLA (4-0)



Saturday, October 12, 10:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: A Golden State battle in the Pac-12 is on tap as the California Golden Bears make the short trip south to face the 11th-ranked UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl.

The Golden Bears' first season under Sonny Dykes has been filled with a resurgence of the passing game, but it hasn't translated into wins. California enters play on Saturday with a record of just 1-4. The lone win of the campaign came against FCS foe Portland State (37-30). Since then the Golden Bears have lost three straight games, including their first two contests in conference play.

As for UCLA, things have gone much better as the team has risen to its highest ranking since 2011 and its first 4-0 start since 2005. The Bruins dispatched Utah, 34-27, on the road last Thursday to claim their first win in conference play as they look to make it to a third straight Pac-12 Championship Game.

A number of miscues doomed UCLA a year ago in Berkeley when these teams met. California forced six turnovers in the contest and rolled to a 43-18 victory. However, the Bruins still hold a 50-32-1 edge in the all-time series, including wins in five of the last six matchups at home.

There isn't much of a mystery as to how the Golden Bears like to move the ball. Dykes has brought over his pass-heavy offensive scheme from Louisiana Tech and has transformed California into the fourth-most prolific passing attack in the country (402.6 ypg).

In the driver's seat of the offense is freshman Jared Goff, who has more than held his own. Goff has already thrown for 1,821 yards, which is second in the Pac-12. He is completing just under 60 percent of his pass attempts, but has been sacked 16 times. He has nine touchdown passes against five interceptions. In last week's 44-22 loss to Washington State, Goff threw for a career-high 504 yards to bounce back from a rough showing in the previous week against Oregon.

Though the Golden Bears have been posting incredible passing numbers, the bulk of the passes have gone to just a pair of receivers. Both Chris Harper (38 receptions, 570 yards, four TDs) and Bryce Treggs (36 receptions, 418 yards, TD) rank in the top 10 in the conference in receptions and receiving yards. Harper is coming off a career-game against the Cougars as he brought in 14 passes for 231 yards.

"We are struggling at running back, so it is important to make some plays with inside receivers," Dykes said of Harper, who was used out of the slot primarily against Washington State. "We thought we were not getting the production out of that group that we needed, and we thought we could get some more production if we moved Chris inside."

Dykes is not exaggerating about the struggles of the California run game. While taking a backseat to the passing assault, the Golden Bears are averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. Brendan Bigelow (277 yards) has shown big play ability in the past, but the leading rusher has been less productive this season.

The up-tempo style of play on offense has done no favors for a defense that is struggling to find any success. California is surrendering 45 points and 524 yards per game. Both of those marks have the Golden Bears ranked dead last in the Pac-12. It get worse as they are also among the five worst teams in the country in each category.

A struggling defense isn't something you want against any team, but that is especially true if UCLA is the opponent. The Bruins are posting 48 points and 561.8 yards of total offense per game. That has them in rarified air as only No. 2 Oregon is producing at a higher level on offense.

Sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley, and the offense as a whole, was a bit more human against Utah. Hundley threw for just 211 yards in the contest while throwing his fourth interception of the year. Overall, Hundley is completing an efficient 65.5 percent of his pass attempts for 1,059 yards and nine scores. Hundley is also dangerous on the ground with 242 yards and three scores rushing.

Speaking of rushing, the Bruins took a big hit against Utah as leading rusher Jordon James (471 yards, five TDs) injured his ankle. James is listed as doubtful for Saturday's matchup which will thrust Paul Perkins into a starting role. Perkins rushed for 92 yards on 16 carries against Utah and also had two receptions for 49 yards.

Perhaps Hundley's greatest strength as a signal caller has been that he does not rely on just one receiver. Devin Fuller (16 receptions, 167 yards, TD) and Shaquelle Evans (14 receptions, 221 yards, three TDs) have been the most productive receivers, but plenty of other pass catchers have gotten in the mix as well.

All-American Anthony Barr finally dominated against Utah with three tackles for loss and two sacks. Barr, who was third in the conference in TFL last season, now has eight on the year along with three sacks. Keenan Graham (4.0 sacks) has also been a handful for opposing offenses. The pair have helped anchor a unit that allows 362.2 yards and 20.2 points per game.

"We've got a really good linebacking corps. We've got a really good front seven. We haven't given up a lot of points this year and that's the name of the game," UCLA head coach Jim Mora said of his squad. "I like the way we're playing right now on defense."

With the quick-strike ability the Golden Bears have on offense they could keep up with the Bruins. However, with Barr and the rest of the Bruins crashing the backfield, it will be tough for Goff to really get into a rhythm, which will spell doom if the Bruins get going offensively.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCLA 43, California 20

10/09 10:44:58 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0