The Arizona State Sun Devils are set to host the UCLA Bruins on Saturday afternoon for PAC-12 action.
Bruins continue to stumble in Kelly’
In their first year under head coach Chip Kelly, it has been what has been expected with one of the best offensive coaches in the country in place. It has been the exact opposite of what has come to be expected as the Bruins have been one of the least productive offensive units in the nation ranking with the 11th-lowest scoring in the nation with 21.2 points per contest that includes being 89th in passing and 85th in rushing. This has seen notch more than 25 points just twice while registering fewer than 20 points on four occasions this season. Running back Joshua Kelley has been a bright spot out of the backfield this season with 820 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Kelley has picked up his production as late registered more than 120 rushing yards in five out of the last six games played. This includes coming off a season-high 161 rushing yards on 26 attempts with a touchdown in the 42-21 loss to Oregon last Saturday.
Joshua Kelley into the end zone! 25 yard touchdown run for the Bruins.
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) November 4, 2018
Kelley’s success in the running game has been a bit overshadowed by the Bruins’ utter lack of success defensively ranking 100th in the country giving up 33.6 points per contest that include being 66th against the pass and 107th against the run giving up 208.2 rushing yards along with 27 rushing touchdowns, which is the sixth most in the nation allowed this season. These issues against the run have consistently put them in a hole defensively that have allowed for opponents to score more than 30 points seven times this year including in each of the last three games played. If the Bruins hope to be able to snap their two-game skid it will require them to set it up defensively against one of the best rushing attacks in the nation.
Sun Devils’ offensive firepower taking charge
Like the Bruins, the Sun Devils are in their first year under a new head coach with Herm Edwards that has been largely encouraging with the team taking steps forward. The bulk of this positive footing has come offensively with their balanced attack that ranks 43rd overall with the bulk of that production coming from the running game that ranks 49th in the country. Running back Eno Benjamin has led the charge on the ground with 1,113 rushing yards with 11 rushing touchdowns along with 28 catches for 199 receiving yards and a touchdown. Benjamin has recorded more than 100 rushing yards six times, which includes at least 175 rushing yards in each of the last two games played and four touchdowns over that stretch. He is coming off 175 rushing yards on 27 attempts and two touchdowns in the 38-20 win over Utah
— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) November 3, 2018
At the same token, the Sun Devils’ passing game has been led by standout wide receiver N’Keal Harry with 55 receptions for 828 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns. Harry has been an explosive asset in the passing game coming off his best performance of the year against Utah posting nine catches for 161 receiving yards with three touchdowns. He has been extremely consistent throughout the year tallying at least three catches and 60 receiving yards in each game while scoring a touchdown on six occasions. He has been their clear-cut top target in the passing game that has helped set the table for Benjamin to do his work in the rushing game. This should be the case this week against UCLA given their struggles defensive that will put Benjamin in the position to add another stellar outing on the ground that may see Arizona State rack up plenty of points on the scoreboard.
- Bruins are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games.
- Bruins are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- Bruins are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- Sun Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Sun Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
- Sun Devils are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bruins have struggled to find any level of consistency throughout the season that will continue on the road against the Sun Devils. UCLA’s lack of defensive impact on the game will play a factor in the game that should pave the way for a big offensive outing for Arizona State.
Prediction: Arizona State -12.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This has the matchup set up for both teams to put up plenty of points on the board on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins’ major issues defensively, especially against the rush, could lead to another big offensive outing for the Sun Devils. What should be noted is that over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings between both teams.
Prediction: Over 59.5