UCLA football could benefit from easier nonconference schedule in 2020

UCLA football players make their way to the field before the game against USC at Rose Bowl on Nov. 17, 2018.
UCLA football players take the field to face USC at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 17, 2018.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

UCLA released a 2020 football schedule on Thursday that included one of its easiest nonconference schedules in years and three of its toughest Pac-12 Conference games at the Rose Bowl.

If everything works out for the Bruins, it could amount to scheduled success.

UCLA will open the season with an Aug. 29 game against New Mexico State at the Rose Bowl, marking the earliest start in program history and providing the Bruins with a chance to win their first nonconference game under coach Chip Kelly after an 0-6 mark in his first two seasons. The Aggies are coming off a 2-10 season and have posted one winning record in the last 17 years.

The Bruins then travel to face Hawaii on Sept. 5 and San Diego State on Sept. 19, hoping to capitalize on teams in transition with new coaches.

USC opens the season against Alabama at AT&T Stadium and plays three other schools that finished in the top 15 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Jan. 16, 2020


UCLA will open Pac-12 play with back-to-back home games against Stanford on Sept. 26 and Arizona on Oct. 3. The Bruins will later play at the Rose Bowl against defending Pac-12 South Division champion Utah on Thursday, Oct. 29, and USC on Nov. 21. UCLA’s other home game will come Nov. 14 against Washington State.

UCLA’s road games in conference play will be at Arizona State on Oct. 10, at Colorado on Oct. 17, at Oregon State on Nov. 7 and at California on Friday, Nov. 27.

The Bruins will have open weeks on Sept. 12 and Oct. 24.

UCLA’s schedule takes a much more demanding turn in 2021, when the Bruins will face 2019 national champion Louisiana State in addition to Oregon and Washington.

Aug. 29: New Mexico State
Sept. 5: at Hawaii
Sept. 19: at San Diego State
Sept. 26: Stanford
Oct. 3: Arizona
Oct. 10: at Arizona State
Oct. 17: at Colorado
Oct. 29: Utah
Nov. 7: at Oregon State
Nov. 14: Washington State
Nov. 21: USC
Nov. 27: at California