Led by veteran starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the UCLA Bruins hope to make some noise in the PAC-12. They currently have an over/under win total of 8 in college football betting.
It’s a conference without a clear juggernaut at the top, but UCLA will need to take a step forward to be among the elite after an 8-4 finish a season ago. Gone are leading receivers Kyle Phillips and Greg Dulcich (a tight end), but Thompson-Robinson returns for his fifth season as the starter.
The signal-caller has over 7,500 passing yards and 61 touchdowns to his name, along with over 1,100 yards and 16 more scores on the ground.
The Bruins need to rely on his experience as they return just eight starters and rank 95th in returning production. Running back, Zach Charbonnet looks to be one of the best skill-position players in the conference.
Zach Charbonnet bringing his A game pic.twitter.com/nkHsuaEeVT
— Due# (@JDue51) September 5, 2021
Here’s a look at UCLA’s schedule with dates, times, opponents, and analysis:
Week 1 – vs. Bowling Green Falcons
Date: September 3
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Bowling Green shocked the country with an upset over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in non-conference play a year ago. This game is not expected to be competitive, but the Falcons have more returning production than any other team in college football.
Week 2 – vs. Alabama State Hornets
Date: September 10
Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
The Hornets went just 5-6 a year ago and lost 62-0 against Auburn in their only game against an FBS team.
Week 3 – vs. South Alabama Jaguars
Date: September 17
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
It’s a manageable non-conference schedule for the Bruins as they’re home for all three games and should be sizable favorites for all of them. This matchup will be the first time these schools have played one another.
Week 4 – at Colorado Buffaloes
Date: September 24
Many outlets are projecting the Buffaloes to be near the bottom of the conference standings again in 2022, but playing at Boulder is never an easy proposition. The home team has won this matchup each of the past six years.
Week 5 – vs. Washington Huskies
Date: September 30
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
This will be a short turnaround as the Bruins return home for a Friday night contest against Washington. The Huskies are under new management, with Kalen DeBoer leading the charge, and will look to avenge last year’s 24-17 Bruins triumph in Seattle.
Week 6 – vs. Utah Utes
Date: October 8
The Utes are coming off their first-ever PAC-12 Championship and have their eyes on a repeat. This contest is an advantageous scheduling spot for the Bruins as their second straight home game, but Utah has won five straight in this series while scoring at least 41 points in each meeting.
Week 7 – BYE
Week 8 – at Oregon Ducks
Date: October 22
The Bruins have not won at Eugene since 2004, losing seven straight on the road against the Ducks. Chip Kelly will face his former team and hopes to improve on UCLA’s 1-10 mark over the past 11 tries against Oregon.
Week 9 – vs. Stanford Cardinal
Date: October 29
UCLA returns home for a winnable game against a Stanford team that has fallen off in recent years under David Shaw. Oddly enough, the away team has won each of the past four games in this series.
Week 10 – at Arizona State Sun Devils
Date: November 5
This is a winnable road game for the Bruins against a Sun Devils team that returns only four starters and lost almost all of its offensive production from a year ago.
Week 11 – vs. Arizona Wildcats
Date: November 12
The Bruins have won three of the past four against the Wildcats. Arizona figures to be improved in year two under Jedd Fisch but suffers from one of the most challenging schedules in the country.
Week 12 – vs. USC Trojans
Date: November 19
This game will be the first iteration of this rivalry since Lincoln Riley arrived in Southern California. UCLA has won just two of the past seven meetings but blew the doors off the Trojans 62-33 a year ago.
Week 13 – at California Golden Bears
Date: November 25
UCLA has won four of the past five games against Cal and has a chance to add to that tally as the Bears rank just 114th in returning production.
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