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at UCLA 28 … Washington State 25

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 8, 2011


Week 6 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Washington State at UCLA


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 6 - Washington State at UCLA

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Oct. 8 at UCLA 28 … Washington State 25
CFN Analysis: Kevin Prince came in to boos and concerns that the offense was done, but he was fantastic at leading the way to the win and keeping the season alive completing 8-of-13 passes for 173 yards and two scores with a pick while running for 25 yards to spark the way for the win. Johnathan Franklin ran for 110 yards and helped carry the offense for a stretch. This was the big moment to possibly turn things around with winnable games against Arizona and Cal coming up next, and with Colorado coming soon. More of a pass rush is a must and the special teams need to be better, but the focus going forward will be Prince. He needs to be steady and he has to keep the chains moving, but most importantly, he has to come up with scoring drives on a consistent basis like he did late.

The Cougars were playing well and had control of the clock and the game, and then the defense couldn’t come up with a late stop and couldn’t go on the one big final drive needed. The offense wasn’t spectacular, but it kept things moving holding on to the ball for close to 37 minutes and keeping the UCLA offense off the field. The defensive front had problems against the Bruin ground game and outside of a pick, it didn’t have any answers for Kevin Prince. With Stanford up next, the Cougars have to find a way to get more deep plays while also controlling the clock again to keep Andrew Luck off the field. That’s not going to happen, but the team is playing well enough to be competitive. Unlike the last several years, there isn’t one area that’s a glaring disaster.

(AP) PASADENA, Calif. -- Kevin Prince threw a go-ahead, 7-yard touchdown pass to Shaq Evans with 3:26 to play, and UCLA rallied from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 28-25 victory over Washington State on Saturday night.

Prince passed for 173 yards and led a thrilling comeback after starter Richard Brehaut broke his leg in the second quarter, mounting two late touchdown drives. Derrick Coleman rushed for two scores, and Josh Smith caught a TD pass for the Bruins (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12).

Marshall Lobbestael passed for 235 yards and hit Jared Karstetter and Rickey Galvin for second-half touchdowns, but Washington State (3-2, 1-1) couldn't extend its impressive start to the season.

Andrew Abbott intercepted Lobbestael's final pass near midfield with 2:01 to play, and Smith made an exceptional catch for a first down while getting hit in the closing seconds, allowing UCLA to run out the clock.

After receiving boos when he took the field, Prince went 8 for 13 in a steady performance in relief of Brehaut. Prince began his third straight season as UCLA's starter, but lost the job last month after throwing three interceptions in the first quarter of a loss to Texas.

Andrew Furney kicked four field goals for the Cougars, who could have matched their conference win total from the previous three seasons combined with a victory. After rallying from a late deficit at Colorado last week, Washington State allowed UCLA's comeback despite outgaining the Bruins.

After the Cougars settled for three field goals in the first half when their offense stalled inside the UCLA 10, Karstetter scored Washington State's first touchdown midway through the third quarter.

Galvin then caught a fourth-quarter TD pass from Lobbestael, who went 28 for 40. The longtime backup quarterback remained in the Cougars' starting lineup despite the return of Jeff Tuel, back in uniform after breaking his collarbone in the season opener.

UCLA didn't get a first down until early in the second quarter, and Brehaut was hurt on a hard tackle during a 5-yard run early in the second quarter. The junior attempted to walk back to the huddle before collapsing on the field.

Prince immediately sparked the Bruins, connecting with Nelson Rosario on a 41-yard pass to the goal line, where Coleman scored.

Tyler Gonzalez, a former manager of the Bruins' soccer team pressed into football action by injuries, kicked the extra point for the Bruins.

Coleman added another short TD on the Bruins' opening drive of the second half, but UCLA's fourth personal foul allowed the Cougars to make a short touchdown drive capped by Karstetter's 8-yard grab over the middle.

Lobbestael hit Galvin in stride for a 21-yard TD, but UCLA blocked the extra point and made a swift drive for Smith's TD catch. Rosario couldn't hold on to the 2-point conversion throw, keeping Washington State ahead 22-20.

Furney hit a 47-yard field goal with 5:49 to play, but Rosario made an electrifying, one-handed 58-yard catch that put the Bruins inside the Washington State 10 moments later. Evans scored on a 7-yard slant, and Rosario caught a 2-point conversion pass, putting UCLA up by three points.

Washington State (3-1) at UCLA (2-3) Oct. 8, 10:30, FSN

Here’s The Deal … The divisional races won’t be impacted by the outcome of Saturday night’s game in Pasadena. Postseason berths, though, might be. With Washington State and UCLA likely to be straddling the .500 fence when the regular season nears an end, this is the kind of matchup of equals that could go a long way toward determining who is bowl-eligible and who stays home in December. The Cougars are coming off of a rousing come-from-behind win over Colorado in which they erased a 10-point deficit in the final three minutes.

With a win this weekend, Wazzu can seriously start dreaming about its first bowl game in eight years. After getting humbled last weekend by Stanford, the Bruins are about to begin their most favorable stretch of the season. Three of their next four games are at the Rose Bowl, and the Oct. 20 trip to Tucson to play Arizona isn’t as daunting as it seemed when schedules were first released. It’s officially crunch time for head coach Rick Neuheisel, who’s been unable to turn around his alma mater in three-plus seasons.

Why Washington State Might Win: How good has Cougars QB Marshall Lobbestael been since moving into the lineup on an emergency basis? Talented starter Jeff Tuel has been cleared to play, but isn’t being rushed back on the field. Washington State ranks No. 4 nationally in passing, hanging up 379 yards a game on opponents. Lobbestael has thrown 13 touchdown passes and three picks, really clicking with complimentary receivers Marquess Wilson, Jared Karstetter and Isiah Barton. UCLA has had its share of lapses in pass defense this fall, and has gotten no support from the pass rush, particularly over the last three games.

Why UCLA Might Win: The Bruins will be forced to lean even heavier on the one things they’ve done well this season, run the football. Washington State is going to score, and the UCLA passing game has been spotty, making for a busy day for backs Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman. The Cougars are beatable on the ground, as San Diego State’s Ronnie Hillman and Colorado’s Rodney Stewart showed during the last two weekends. And while QB Richard Brehaut hasn’t been prolific at the helm, he’s shown good wheels rushing for 158 yards and two scores, and has yet to throw a pick in 112 attempts.

What To Watch Out For: The UCLA backfield is going to get acquainted with Washington State LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis early and often. The best Cougars defender thus far, the senior has had a knack for disrupting plays before they can develop. He’ll be tough versus the run this weekend, but even more of a nuisance when Brehaut looks to throw. He’ll arrive in Pasadena with a head of steam after racking up 14 tackles and a pair of sacks in the win over Colorado.

What Will Happen: There’s no longer any doubt whether Washington State can play with UCLA, regardless of the venue. However, this is a tough for the Cougars, who are playing on the road for a third consecutive game, and are coming off an emotional win in Boulder. Plus, the Bruins will play with the urgency of a program that clearly has its back against the wall as the mid-point of the season approaches. They’ll counter the Wazzu passing attack with a clock-controlling running game that wears down the defense in the second half.

CFN Prediction: UCLA 27 … Washington State 23
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