Week 5 – UCLA at Colorado

Posted Sep 26, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – UCLA at Colorado

-CFN Fearless Predictions
UCLA (3-1) at Colorado (1-3) Sept. 29, 6:00, Pac-12 Networks

Here's The Deal: UCLA and Colorado meet in Boulder, the latter attempting to build on an improbable victory, and the former trying to rebound from a tough loss. The Bruins' climb in the polls—and the nation's conscience—got derailed at the Rose Bowl by upstart Oregon State last Saturday. Although the program has clearly improved under Jim Mora, it now must show that it can handle adversity, and bounce back from its low point of the first month of the season. Just when it appeared that the Buffaloes were going to be fitted for a Big Sky Conference membership, they go out and do the improbable. Just a week after getting slammed by Fresno State—and two weeks after losing to Sacramento State—Colorado rallied from a 31-14 fourth quarter deficit to beat Washington State in the final seconds. The Buffs are still a second-tier Pac-12 team, but that comeback was unimaginably important for a young team and its struggling head coach Jon Embree.

Why UCLA Might Win: Last week's rousing victory can't overlook the fact that Colorado is still a bad defensive team that's allowing 38 points a game, and has been wretched in the secondary. The Bruins had problems with the Beavers defense, but won't face the same tenacity or edge speed this week. It's back to business for RB Johnathan Franklin, who still leads the league in rushing, and stands fourth nationally. Not to be forgotten from a week ago, UCLA rookie QB Brett Hundley continues to throw the ball well, especially the deep ball. He's gone for more than 300 yards in each of the last three games, hooking up with a spate of different backs, receivers and tight ends.

Why Colorado Might Win: The pulse that appeared on the Palouse came courtesy of the Buffaloes offense, which produced three touchdowns in the final seven minutes. Colorado will attempt to keep that momentum going this week at Folsom Field. QB Jordan Webb, who was almost benched, will have a little bounce in his step after leading the win with 345 yards and a couple of touchdown passes. He and favorite receiver Nelson Spruce will be looking to keep the UCLA pass defense reeling after it yielded 379 yards to Oregon State QB Sean Mannion.

What To Watch Out For: The Bruins need to get their house in order up front after getting whipped by the Oregon State D-line for much of the afternoon. The starting tackles are young, which guarantees an unavoidable element of growing pains. On the left side, Torian White is a redshirt freshman, and to the right of center, Simon Goines is in his first year out of high school. Their biggest concern will be containing Colorado DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, a disruptive force with two sacks in two different games this month.

What Will Happen: After performing somewhat out of character a week ago, UCLA and Colorado are about to get back to the script. The Bruins are still a pretty good football team, and will prove it now that the competition will be ratcheted down considerably. They'll get back to feeding Franklin liberally on the ground, mixing in just enough Hundley over the top to keep the defense honest. Unlike last week, there'll be no frenetic rally for the Buffs, who'll this time fade without much of a fight in the second half.

CFN Prediction: UCLA 41 … Colorado 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) UCLA -20.5 O/U: 60
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 2.5