UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
- No. 20 UCLA (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) hosts Arizona State (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) at 10:30 pm ET Saturday (Oct. 2nd) on FS1
- The Bruins picked up their first conference win of the season against Stanford last week, while the Sun Devils blew out Colorado in Tempe
- See game odds, analysis and a betting prediction below
Chip Kelly’s UCLA program returns to Pasadena with a conference road win under its belt and more importantly, a healthy quarterback. Arizona State ventures into the Rose Bowl, where it last won in 2015, coming off a nice bounce-back 35-13 victory over Colorado in Week 3.
Now, the Bruins enter a Pac-12 South showdown as 3.5-point favorites in a game that will go a long way in determining which program will represent the division in the conference title game December 3rd in Las Vegas.
Arizona State vs #20 UCLA Odds
|Arizona State Sun Devils||+3.5 (-115)||+145||O 55.5 (-105)|
|UCLA Bruins||-3.5 (-105)||-165||U 55.5 (-115)|
Odds as of Sept. 29th at DraftKings.
DTR (U) Ready
Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson felt the effects of a shoulder injury on UCLA’s final drive at Stanford, showing his toughness to throw a game-sealing touchdown pass after leaving briefly. He was back at practice this week and appears to be ready to go Saturday. That’s good news for Kelly and Co. considering DTR is 2-0 against ASU in his career.
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) September 26, 2021
The senior quarterback was 16-of-23 for 176 yards and two touchdown passes in a 42-32 victory over the Sun Devils two years ago and went 18-of-24 for 192 yards in a 25-18 win last season, throwing one touchdown pass and rushing for another.
Bruin running backs Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown have taken the pressure off the versatile signal caller so far in 2021. But as DTR goes, so go the Bruins offensively.
That said, Charbonnet and Brown have been an impressive two-headed monster. Charbonnet, a Michigan transfer, has eclipsed the century mark in three of UCLA’s four games this season — going for 360 yards on just 46 carries and seven rushing touchdowns. Meantime, Brown has gone for 263 on 47 carries and a pair of trips to paydirt. Arizona State will be challenged by all three players.
2022 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker
Herm Edwards has a talented dual-threat quarterback of his own in Jayden Daniels. The junior quarterback threw for 236 yards and added seven carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against CU in last week’s 22-point win.
Running back Rachaad White also had a nice game, going for 37 yards and a rushing touchdown, with five receptions for 70 yards and a receiving touchdown. It will be interesting to see how the pair perform on the road this week after a rough outing in Provo.
ASU QB Jayden Daniels said that he felt like the team got “caught up in the antics” during its first road game at BYU. Feels like team will be more locked in Saturday at UCLA.
— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) September 28, 2021
The Sun Devils don’t throw a lot. But when they do, they are efficient. Daniels is completing nearly 73% of his pass attempts and it’s possible Edwards decids to air it out a bit more this weekend. UCLA’s secondary (330.3 passing yards allowed/game) ranks among the worst in the nation, while Arizona State (124.3 yards/game) has been darn near impenetrable. In fact, Sparky is 11th in the country in opponent yards per play. With Daniels’ ability to make plays and a strong defense, ASU could be dangerous.
For all the attention Kelly gets as an offensive genius, it’s the other side of the ball for the Bruins that has served them well in their victories. Despite a complete meltdown against Fresno State in the last series of a 40-37 gut-wrenching home loss, UCLA’s defense ranks No. 6 nationally against the run, giving up 64 yards per game. The Bruins held the Cardinal to 67 yards on the ground in last week’s 35-24 victory.
UCLA defense, which couldn’t stop Fresno State, hasn’t allowed a first down to Stanford with 10 minutes left in the half.
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) September 25, 2021
While it may be hard to trust the Bruins at home in this spot, it’s harder to trust the Devils on the road.
Buoyed by a solid road win over a conference rival (Stanford had defeated UCLA in 12 of the last 13 matchups prior to last week), look for the Bruins to stay up for Sparky. For what it’s worth, Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro plays a similar game to Daniels — and the Bruins thoroughly dominated the quarterback and the Rainbow Warriors in their season opener 44-10. UCLA should prevail in this spot.
Pick: UCLA -3.5 (-105)
Blair Johnson is a veteran journalist and seasoned sports content creator. He has been writing and producing content as long as he can remember, with such familiar names as CNN, NFL Media and Yahoo. Blair currently lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.