Memphis Tigers at #11 UCLA Bruins
Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California
Saturday, September 6, 2014, 10: 00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Opening Line: UCLA -24
Current Line: UCLA -23 1/2
Opening Total: 53
Current Total: 56
Opening Money Line: UCLA -3500 / Memphis +1300
Current Money Line: UCLA -3500 / Memphis +1300
The UCLA Bruins and Memphis Tigers meet for the first time ever in football Saturday night in the famed Rose Bowl stadium. UCLA will complete the home and home in Memphis in 2017.
Memphis is coached by Justin Fuente. The Tigers opened the 2014 season with a 63-0 rout of Austin Peay last week in Memphis. The Tigers easily covered the 38.5 point spread and the total was 42.5.
UCLA is coached by Jim Mora, Jr. The Bruins were 18 point favorites at Virginia and the total was 50.5. However, the Bruins were lucky to escape with a lackluster 28-20 win.
Memphis nearly went over the total at halftime scoring 42 points in the first half against Austin Peay. The Tigers added 21 points in the second half to complete the shutout 63-0.
Memphis had 545 total yards including 303 rushing yards. Austin Peay had 146 total yards including just 30 passing yards. Each team had 2 turnovers. Memphis had 28 first downs to 8 for Austin Peay. The Governors were 1/13 on third and fourth down conversions and the Tigers were 8/15 on third and fourth down conversions.
Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch completed 20 of 27 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns with an interception, plus 5 carries for 34 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Jarvis Cooper had 8 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Hayes had 11 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown. Doroland Dorceus had 10 carries for 41 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mose Frazier and Alan Cross each caught a touchdown pass. Kelwone Malone had 3 catches for 58 yards.
UCLA entered the game last week against Virginia #7 in the pre-season poll and a dark horse contender for the four team playoff in college football. They still might be but the Bruins certainly didn’t play like it last week against a mediocre at best Cavalier team. The Bruins scored three defensive touchdowns on two interceptions and a fumble return to take a 21-10 lead into halftime.
Virginia scored midway through the third quarter to make it 21-17. The Bruins finally scored their first offensive touchdown with a minute left in the third quarter to make it 28-17. Virginia would kick a field goal midway through the fourth to pull within 28-20. UCLA would go three and out on their next drive and Virginia took over with 5:55 left. A short punt gave the Cavaliers the ball at the UCLA 40. Virginia drove down to the UCLA 17 but turned the ball over on downs. The Bruins ran out the clock to escape with the win.
UCLA could only manage 358 total yards last week including 242 passing yards. Virginia had 386 total yards including 266 passing yards. UCLA overcame 2 turnovers and 12 penalties for 87 yards. Virginia had the three turnovers in the first half. Virginia had 17 first downs to 16 for UCLA. The Bruins were 7/20 on third and fourth down conversions. The Cavaliers were 11/26.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley completed 20 of 33 passes for 242 yards, and rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown. Running back Paul Perkins had 16 carries for 80 yards. Receiver Jordan Paxton had 8 catches for 98 yards. Star linebacker and sometimes running back Myles Jack injured his ankle and is questionable this week. Running back Steven Manfro tore his ACL last week and is out for the season.
Memphis is 5-0 ATS after allowing 20 points or less, 4-0 in non-conference games, 5-1 after a straight up win, 5-2 in road games, 7-3 after a cover, 3-12-1 against teams with winning home records, 1-5-1 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 1-7 after scoring more than 40 points, and 1-11 on grass.
UCLA is 4-1 ATS against teams with winning records and in non-conference games, 7-2 after a straight up win, 14-4 against teams with winning road records, 9-3 after failing to cover, 5-2 at home, and 33-16-2 in September.
Was UCLA overrated in the preseason or did they just have a bad game on the road more than 3,000 miles from home? I tend to believe the latter. It probably won’t matter against a team like Memphis but the Bruins need to solve their problems quickly with games against Texas, Arizona State and Oregon coming up in the next month or so. I like the Bruins to win handily at home against Memphis.
Our college football handicappers are red hot in 2014. Don’t miss out on any more winners this season.