UCLA-Oregon State: How the teams match up
A look at how UCLA (1-4, 1-1) and Oregon State (1-3, 0-1) match up heading into Saturday’s game at the Rose Bowl. (6 p.m., TV: Pac-12 Networks, Radio: 570).
Oregon State receiver Isaiah Hodgins vs. the UCLA secondary. Hodgins’ 509 receiving yards lead the Pac-12 Conference and rank eighth nationally, with the seven players ahead of him having all played in one more game. Hodgins makes nearly all of his catches count; 29 of 33 have gone for either a first down or a touchdown. UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes, still rounding into form from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the season’s first two games, is likely to draw the assignment of slowing Hodgins. The Bruins’ secondary has been an unforeseen weakness on a team giving up 351.8 passing yards per game, most in the Pac-12.
UCLA (378.4 ypg/25.2 ppg): Austin Burton is hoping to pull a Mike Fafaul, repeating what the one-time Bruins backup quarterback did in 2016 by beating Oregon State at the Rose Bowl. Burton appears in line to start unless Dorian Thompson-Robinson makes an unexpectedly speedy recovery from the leg injury that knocked him out of UCLA’s loss to Arizona last weekend.
Oregon State (482.5 ypg/34.3 ppg): The Beavers could give UCLA’s improved run defense its biggest test of the season. Running backs Jermar Jefferson, B.J. Baylor and Artavis Pierce have each rushed for 100 yards in at least one game as part of Oregon State’s balanced offensive attack.
UCLA (514.4 ypg/35.6 ppg): After forcing a season-high six turnovers against Washington State, the Bruins did not generate one takeaway against Arizona. Linebacker Keisean Lucier-South has made a sudden impact in his return from an academic suspension, recording three tackles for loss and two sacks in just two games.
Oregon State (427.8 ypg/30.3 ppg): Oregon State’s 31 team tackles for loss rank tied for second in the Pac-12, just two behind league-leader Oregon. Linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. leads the conference with 7½ tackles for loss and five sacks.
Chip Kelly had a reputation for risk-taking on fourth downs during his time at Oregon. It appears he is embracing roughly the same approach at UCLA.
UCLA kicker J.J. Molson and Oregon State counterpart Jordan Choukair have each made only two of five field-goal attempts this season.
Oregon State and Iowa are the only teams in the nation that have committed just one turnover this season. The Beavers are also one of three teams, along with Appalachian State and West Virginia, that have not lost a fumble.
Besides Thompson-Robinson, who may have to sit out his first full game of the season, the Bruins could be without receiver Theo Howard, safety Quentin Lake and running back Martell Irby because of various injuries. … Oregon State center Nathan Eldridge’s status is a game-time decision and punt returner Jesiah Irish is out.
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