Vento: UCLA Needs its Road Mojo at Home vs Ducks

Posted on October 21, 2021

  By Edward Vento, SportsPac12

Here we go again. Another opportunity presents itself for UCLA Football to officially make their statement win under Chip Kelly.

No. 10 Oregon, Kelly’s former college gig, and the ESPN College Gameday crew are making their way to the Rose Bowl Saturday for a massive matchup.

The hype surrounding UCLA was probably a bit too much, as I alluded to in a previous column, but the Bruins now find themselves at 5-2 with a top 10 opponent coming to Pasadena.

However, you could make a claim that the Bruins would be better suited playing this game in Eugene.

After a solid 24-17 win in Seattle over Washington, UCLA has improved to 3-0 away from home this season. Defensively, there’s a case to be made for UCLA being better on the road.

Brittain Brown vs .Washington. | Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

At the Rose Bowl, the UCLA defense allows 29.7 points per game, along with 419.7 yards per game. On the road, they’ve allowed just 19 points and 329.6 yards per game.

I’m sure UCLA is thrilled to be hosting Oregon, instead of having to go to Autzen, but the numbers say they might stand a better chance in that loud and crazy environment, where the Ducks own the nation’s longest active home win streak at 16.

Oregon comes into this clash sitting at 5-1, with easily the most impressive victory for the entire Conference this season, having handled Ohio State 35-28 in Columbus in the second week of the season.

UO’s Anthony Brown vs. Ohio State | Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The win for Oregon was the Pac-12’s first nonconference road victory over a top-five team since 1990, with the Buckeyes Ranked No. 3 at the time. Oregon’s only loss this season came in overtime on the road to Stanford.

If UCLA is to beat Oregon on Saturday, DTR might just be the key.

In the three games this season in which Oregon has only won by one possession, they allowed an average of 343 passing yards—against Fresno State’s Jake Haener, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Cal’s Chase Garbers.

In the loss to Stanford, Tanner McKee threw for 230 yards and 3 TDs.

DTR vs. Washington | Steph Chambers/Getty Images

DTR had his most efficient passing game of the season Saturday against Washington, throwing for 183 yards and two TDs on 21/26 attempts. The most he’s thrown in a game this season was 278 yards in the heartbreaking loss to Fresno State.

UCLA’s defense needs to take whatever mojo they get on the road, bring it to the Rose Bowl, and pair it with a strong performance from DTR.

If the Bruins can do that, a win might not be so far-fetched.

—Recent Edward Vento Stories—

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