You’re not alone.
On paper, there isn’t much separating Washington and UCLA. They are, in fact, nearly identical in many relevant statistical categories.
And, yes, they both played Stanford and Oregon in consecutive weeks last month … and they both lost both.
The main difference between UW and UCLA might be that the Huskies had to go to Arizona State — the Pac-12 South leader — right after that the Stanford-Oregon stretch. You know what happened there.
UCLA got back on track with a home victory over Colorado, perhaps the Pac-12’s worst team.
The schedule is what it is. And, in mid-November, these teams are what they are.
The Huskies, to their credit, have bounced back from three straight October losses with emphatic wins over California and Colorado, combining for 1,270 yards and 100 points.
Still not convinced?
Neither am I.
California and Colorado are a combined 0-13 in conference play. And both wins were at home for UW.
The Huskies just haven’t done enough to prove they can beat a quality opponent on the road.
Can they do that? Sure they can.
To me, there isn’t one aspect of this UW-UCLA matchup that tips the pendulum dramatically to one side. UCLA is again expected to start three true freshman on the offensive line, which draws some red flags. But Brett Hundley is, at his best, right there with Marcus Mariota among the elite quarterbacks in the country.
I do expect another big game from Bishop Sankey. I expect Keith Price, with a healthy hand and a renewed confidence, to play well. I expect the Huskies to be closer to what they were at Stanford than what they were at Arizona State.
Is that enough?
Prediction: UCLA 31, Washington 30
Around the Pac-12:
—- Stanford at USC: On the road a week after its huge upset of Oregon — is Stanford ripe for an upset? Don’t rule it out. USC looks like a completely different team under Ed Orgeron, but Stanford’s too good right now to pick against. The pick: Stanford 28, USC 24.
—- Washington State at Arizona: Arizona has been making a strong public-relations push for Ka’Deem Carey as a Heisman candidate. Figure he’ll get a good boost against the Cougs. The pick: Arizona 35, Washington State 21.
—- Oregon State at Arizona State: The one concern for the Sun Devils might looking ahead to next week’s matchup at UCLA, which could wind up being the de facto Pac-12 South title game. The pick: Arizona State 49, Oregon State 34.
—- Utah at Oregon: It’ll be interesting to see how much, and how well, Marcus Mariota plays. But even if he’s limited, it’s hard to see the Utes hanging around for long on the road. The pick: Oregon 42, Utah 17.
—- California at Colorado: Even though the scores indicated otherwise, I thought the Buffs put up a better fight against UW than the Bears. That 14-game Pac-12 skid ends for Colorado on Saturday. The pick: Colorado 38, California 28.