2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - San Jose State at UCLA
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Sept. 10 at USC 23 … Utah 14
CFN Analysis: This was the kind of game USC didn’t win last year. Could this mean the team is ready to be clutch, to make up for the lack of talent compared to the pre-sanctions version? Matt Barkely was fine and effective, and Robert Woods followed up his big game against Minnesota with 102 yards on eight catches, but the big key was the return of Marc Tyler to form, with 113 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. The secondary has been a bit too shaky, and it took a miracle blocked kick to preserve the win, but considering all the problems and issues, starting out 2-0 isn’t bad.
Welcome to the Pac-12, Utah. It’s not that easy. USC isn’t the USC of the past, but Utah still couldn’t get much of anything going on the ground a struggled all game long to find anything that consistently worked other than the Jordan Wynn-to-DeVonte Christopher combination that hooked up for 136 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches. Utah became a power by blasting away with the running game, but it only came up with 81 yards with John White having a hard time getting free. Now the Utes have to get ready for another grinding, emotional game with a trip to BYU coming up, and to win, the pass rush has to be better and more active. Utah has just three sacks and six tackles for loss in two games.
(AP) PASADENA, Calif. -- Derrick Coleman rushed for 135 yards -- all in the second half -- and UCLA survived a lackluster performance to beat San Jose State 27-17 Saturday night, handing the Spartans their 24th loss in 27 games dating back to the beginning of the 2009 season.
Coleman, who carried 14 times, put the game out of reach by scoring on a 24-yard run with 3:35 remaining to cap a five-play, 79-yard drive -- all on the ground.
Johnathan Franklin gained 81 yards on 16 carries and Richard Brehaut completed 12 of 23 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown for the Bruins (1-1), who were pushed to the limit for three quarters by the 21-point underdog Spartans (0-2).
San Jose State's Dasmen Stewart, making his first career start as a replacement for Matt Faulkner, was 15 of 31 for 111 yards and one interception and rushed for 47 yards on nine carries. Faulkner, who played most of the Spartans' 57-3 loss at No. 6 Stanford last weekend, sat out the game after experiencing concussion-like symptoms during the week.
UCLA now has a 33-2-1 record against Cal State schools and has won 21 of its last 25 non-conference home games. San Jose State has lost 17 straight road games dating back to 2008.
The Bruins rolled up 417 yards of total offense while the Spartans, held to 27 yards on the ground by Stanford, gained 202 on the ground and 115 through the air. Brandon Rutley led San Jose State with 81 yards on nine carries and David Freeman picked up 52 yards on eight carries.
Brehaut played the entire game at quarterback for the Bruins. Kevin Prince, who started UCLA's 38-34 season-opening loss at Houston but left in the second quarter after sustaining a minor concussion and sprained right shoulder, watched from the bench.
San Jose State tied the game at 17-all with 4:30 left in the third quarter on a career-long 65-yard run by Rutley, and the Spartans had a chance to take the lead after Tiuke Tuipulotu recovered Franklin's fumble at the UCLA 34 -- the first of four turnovers in a span of 6 1/2 minutes.
San Jose State moved to the Bruins' 17 before freshman Blake Jurich's pass over the middle was picked off by Sean Westgate. Jurich was filling in for Stewart, who missed part of the third quarter because of cramps.
The Bruins then moved to the Spartans' 24 before Taylor Embree fumbled after catching a pass and Vince Buhagiar recovered at the 19. But Sheldon Price picked off a pass by Stewart at the San Jose State 37 three plays later, putting the Bruins in position for a 20-yard field goal by freshman Kip Smith with 7:31 remaining that put UCLA ahead for good.
Aided by two 15-yard penalties, the Bruins moved 69 yards on their second possession for a 7-0 lead, scoring on a 1-yard run by Franklin.
The Spartans responded with a 16-play, 88-yard drive to tie the game. Freeman, who caught an 11-yard pass from Stewart on fourth-and-4 from the UCLA 34, scored the TD on a 1-yard run.
After an exchange of punts, Brehaut's 43-yard pass to Nelson Rosario triggered a 75-yard drive that gave the Bruins a 14-7 lead. The TD came on Brehaut's 14-yard pass to Joseph Fauria on a third-and-11 play with 5:22 left before halftime.
San Jose State got a 25-yard field goal from Harrison Waid early in the third quarter to move within four points, but Smith's 38-yarder a little over three minutes later extended UCLA's lead to 17-10.
The game was the first ever between the teams.
The Bruins' home opener was played before a crowd of 42,685 at the Rose Bowl, where numerous changes were visible as part of a three-year, $152 million renovation of the 88-year-old stadium. Among them were a state-of-the-art video board at the north end, a new scoreboard at the south end, widened tunnels and additional aisles.
UCLA entertains No. 24 Texas (2-0) next Saturday while San Jose State hosts Nevada (0-1) in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
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San Jose State (0-1) at UCLA (0-1) Sept. 10, 10:00, FCS
Here’s The Deal … For UCLA, a visit from lowly San Jose State could not come at a more opportune time. Knowing the importance of 2011 for the program and embattled head coach Rick Neuheisel, the Bruins opened the season with a disappointing 38-34 loss to Houston. Adding to the desperation, snake-bitten starting QB Kevin Prince had his bell rung, and is questionable for this week. This is UCLA’s final—and only—chance to tinker against a lesser opponent before the competition level rises markedly.
The Spartans are improving, but not at a pace that’s going to be evident against Pac-12 teams. They’ve already squared off with Stanford, falling 57-3. If nothing else, San Jose State and its slew of young starters are going to be battle-tested once the WAC portion of the schedule kicks off a week from now.
Why San Jose State Might Win: Although it didn’t show against the Cardinal, the Spartans harbor a bunch of fresh faces that the program believes can be special. QB Matt Faulkner, with the help of WR Noel Grigsby, will attack a Bruins secondary that aided Houston QB Case Keenum’s return from injury. On defense, San Jose State will lean on its defensive playmakers in the back seven, namely S Duke Ihenacho and linebackers Keith Smith and Vince Buhagiar. UCLA is in a vulnerable state of mind these days, affording the Spartans a chance to catch their host napping.
Why UCLA Might Win: While Prince probably won’t start, backup Richard Brehaut is ready to assume an expanded role in the offense. The junior played very well against Houston, accounting for 351 yards and three touchdowns while nearly engineering a comeback. TE Joseph Fauria and receivers Taylor Embree and Nelson Rosario responded well to his presence on the field. And RB Johnathan Franklin, who rushed for 128 yards and a score, gives the offense a much-needed physical identity. If Brehaut is able to keep the momentum going from Week 1, he’ll put this game out of reach for a San Jose State offense short on pop and consistency.
What To Watch Out For: Even without Prince on his throne, the UCLA offense will be just fine this week. The defense, though, is a concern of Neuheisel’s. The coach is seeking more consistency and fewer mistakes before Texas visits a week from now. Talent is not an issue. DE Datone Jones, DT Cassius Marsh, LB Patrick Larimore and FS Tony Dye, to name just four, have very high ceilings. Now would be a great time for the Bruins defenders to begin reaching them. UCLA needs this unit to begin meshing and working together as one cohesive unit.
What Will Happen: UCLA doesn’t get many chances to be the playground bully, so it’ll enjoy this week’s date with San Jose State. The offense will pick up where it left off in Space City, producing balanced results out of Brehaut and Franklin. The defense, after being challenged and ridden hard by the coaches all week, will respond with considerably more ferocity and concentration. The Bruins are still a program with potential in 2011. On this Saturday, they’ll begin to approach it with a thorough effort from both sides of the line.
CFN Prediction: UCLA 41 … San Jose State 13
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UCLA -21.5 O/U: 49.5
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