UCLA Bruins and Oregon Ducks Meet for Pac 12 Title in Eugene

Pac 12 Football Championship Game
UCLA Bruins at #9 Oregon Ducks
Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Oregon
Friday, December 2, 2011, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox 

Opening Line: Oregon -29 1/2
Current Line: Oregon -32
Opening Total: 65
Current Total: 66
Opening Money Line: Oregon -13500 / UCLA +5500
Current Money Line: Oregon -15000 / UCLA +6000

Oregon Ducks Running Back LaMichael James
The Oregon Ducks host the UCLA Bruins in the inaugural Pac 12 Championship. The Ducks are 32 point favorites.

For the 6-6 UCLA Bruins, it is either win this game and become Pac 12 Champions and play in the Rose Bowl or lose and not even qualify for a Bowl game. It is simply amazing what had to happen for UCLA to win the Pac 12 South and qualify for the inaugural Pac 12 Championship game. First, arch-rival USC would have easily qualified had they not been on probation and ineligible for the game. Secondly, Arizona St had the division well in hand at the end of October with a 4-1 record but the Sun Devils lost 4 straight games to choke away their lead. Thirdly, Colorado upset Utah last week in Salt Lake City 17-14. It was the first road win for the Buffaloes since 2007.  The Utes missed 3 field goals in the loss. All of those things handed the title to the Bruins who lost 2 out of 3 games down the stretch. UCLA fired coach Rick Neuheisel this week but he will coach in the championship game.

The Bruins opponent in the game will be the high powered Oregon Ducks who are 10-2 and ranked #9 in the BCS standings. Oregon only has losses to #1 LSU and USC this season under Coach Chip Kelly. The Ducks had plans of returning to the National Championship game until the 38-35 loss to USC ended those dreams a couple of weeks ago. UCLA leads the series 39-25 against Oregon but Oregon has won 9 of the last meetings against UCLA and 3 straight including 60-13 last year in Eugene. The two teams haven’t played each other this year.

UCLA was a 16 point underdog last week at rival USC. The Bruins were never in the game as the Trojans jumped out to a 29-0 halftime lead. USC shutout their rivals 50-0. Besides bragging rights, UCLA had little to play for as they had already clinched the division title with Utah’s loss to Colorado the day before. The Bruins had 385 total yards including 261 passing yards from quarterback Kevin Prince. Prince threw an interception and rushed for 34 yards on 17 carries. Receiver Nelson Rosario had 7 catches for 118 yards. The Prince interception was the only turnover of the game. USC had 572 total yards including 423 passing yards. Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley threw 6 touchdown passes.

UCLA is averaging 393.1 yards and 23.2 points a game. The Bruins are averaging 193.2 rushing yards and 199.8 passing yards a game. The Bruins have 20 turnovers and have allowed 20 sacks. The Bruins are 62/170 on third and fourth down conversions and 40/53 scoring in the red zone with 32 touchdowns. UCLA is giving up 411.9 yards and 30.8 points a game. The Bruins allow 233.8 passing yards and 178.2 rushing yards. UCLA has forced 18 turnovers and 13 sacks so far. Bruin opponents are 93/185 on third and fourth down conversions and 41/45 scoring in the red zone with 31 touchdowns. The Bruins average over 7 penalties a game for 66 yards. The Bruins have no defensive or special teams touchdowns.

UCLA has alternated quarterbacks this season. Prince is 99/169 passing (58.6% completion) with 1,463 yards, 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 95 carries for 424 yards. Richard Brehaut is 66/119 passing for 935 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 44 carries, 169 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He has missed the last six games with a leg injury, and is doubtful this week as well. Running back Johnathan Franklin has 149 carries, 912 yards, and 5 touchdowns, along with 9 catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Coleman has  127 carries for 643 yards and 11 touchdowns. Rosario has 55 catches for 1,008 yards, with 2 touchdowns. Joseph Fauria has 30 catches for 395 yards and 6 touchdown catches. Shaquelle Evans and Taylor Embree each have 18 catches this season.  Kip Smith, Tyler Gonzalez and Jeff Locke have split the kicking duties this season. Smith is 7/8 on extra points and 2/3 on field goals with a long of 38. Locke is 6/9 on extra points and 2/3 on field goals with a long of 51 yards. Smith hasn’t played in 10 games and is doubtful for this game with a hip injury. Locke is probable with a shoulder injury. Gonzalez is 15/16 on extra points and 6/9 on field goals with a long of 43 yards. UCLA has 10 players listed on the injury report, including 6 defensive players.

Last week, Oregon hosted arch-rival Oregon St in their annual Civil War. The Ducks went out to a 28-7 lead at halftime. Oregon expanded their lead to 49-14 in the fourth quarter. Oregon St scored late to make the final 49-21, which was a push on the college football betting line of 28 points. The game featured 14 total penalties and 5 turnovers (8 and 3 respectively by Oregon St.) The Ducks had 670 total yards including 385 rushing yards and 38 first downs. Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas threw for 305  yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back LaMichael James had 24 carries, 142 yards, and a touchdown. De’Anthony Thomas had 4 carries for 71 yards, along with 10 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. Kenjon Barner had 16 carries, 64 yards, and a touchdown, along with 3 catches for 33 yards and a touchdown. Ayele Ford had 10 carries, 56 yards and a touchdowns. Receiver David Paulson averages 8 touchdowns, 105 yards, and a touchdown. Colt Lyerla had 2 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. Oregon St had 315 total yards, including just 16 rushing yards, and 15 first downs.

Oregon is averaging 510.6 total yards, including 291 rushing yards and is scoring 45.9 points a game. All three are in the top 6 nationally. Oregon averages 219.6 passing yards a game.  The Ducks have allowed 12 sacks and have 16 turnovers this season. Oregon is 79/176 on third and fourth down conversions, and 50/58 scoring in the red zone with 44 touchdowns. The Ducks are giving up 385.9 yards and 23 points a game. They have given up 135.6 rushing yards and 250.3 passing yards a game.  The Ducks have forced 39 sacks and 23 turnovers. Oregon opponents are 80/214 on third and fourth down conversions, and 36/45 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns. Oregon has 7 defensive/special teams touchdowns and has 4 blocked kicks.

Thomas is 174/280 passing (62.1% completion) with 2,274 yards, 27 touchdowns and 5 interceptions this season, along with 45 carries for 145 yards and 2 touchdown runs. Back-up Bryan Bennett is 24/45 passing for 361 yards and 6 touchdown passes, along with 21 carries for 90 yards. James has 197 carries for 1,427 yards, and 14 touchdowns along with 15 catches, 186 yards,  and a touchdown catch. James has over 1,700 all-purpose yards and has a punt return for a touchdown. He is probable with an elbow injury. Barner has 128 carries, 830 yards, and 11 touchdowns, along with 13 catches for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back De’Anthony Thomas has 53 carries, 440 yards, and 5 rushing touchdown to go along with 40 catches, 558 yards, and 9 scores. He also has over 1,900 all-purpose yards, and has 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns. Receiver Lavasier Tuinei has 37 catches, 421 yards, and 8 scores. Paulson has 28 catches, 386 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Josh Huff has 25 catches, 359 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Lyerla has 6 catches, 140 yards, and 4 scores.  Kicker Alejandro Maldonado is 64/65 on extra points and is 6/11 on field goals with a long of 40 yards.  Rob Beard is 2/2 on field goals with a long of 30 yards and has also kicked 3 extra points this season. Oregon has 7 players listed as questionable, doubtful or out including 4 defensive players.

Oregon is 6-4-2 against the spread this season and the total is 8-4 in those games. UCLA is 4-8 ATS and the total is 4-8 this season. The Ducks are 7-3 ATS against the Bruins in the last 10 meetings, and the under is 3-1-1 in the last 5. UCLA is 4-1 ATS in December, 4-9 after failing to cover, 5-13 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 7-19 as an underdog, 5-14 in conference games, 2-6 against teams with winning records, and after allowing 40 points or more, 5-15 overall, 2-6 after scoring 20 points or less, 5-16 as a road underdog, 1-4 on turf, 0-5 in road games against teams with winning home records, 0-4 on the road, as a road dog of 10.5 points or more, and as an underdog of 10.5 points or more. Oregon is 6-2-2 ATS in conference games, 5-2-1 after a straight up win, 5-2-2 overall, 27-13-3 as a favorite of 10.5 points or more, 0-2-2 at home, as a home favorite, and as a home favorite of 10.5 points or more.

You know how in poker you go all-in when you have a short stack? Well that is pretty much what UCLA is doing. If they pull off the monumental upset they go to the Rose Bowl against the winner of the Big Ten Championship game between Michigan St and Wisconsin. If they lose, their season is over. The problem is UCLA is a 32 point underdog for a reason. They don’t have the firepower to keep up with Oregon on offense and the Bruins struggle to stop the run on defense. The only hope for the Bruins is to control the clock with their running game and keep the high-powered Ducks off the field. And even that might not be enough. The total on this game is 66 and Oregon has a chance to reach that by themselves. This will get ugly in a hurry and Oregon can name the score if they want.

Check out our college football odds page for wagering on sides, totals, money lines, and first half / halftime sides and totals. Our college football handicappers are crushing the sports books this season.



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