Preview: Oregon at UCLA
Courtesy of the PAC-10, with contributions from CFP Staff
Oregon has reeled off 4 straight wins at home but must hit the road for the first time since losing the season opener 19-8 at Boise State.
The Ducks have the longest PAC-10 winning streak at 5 games.
Ducks' QB Jeremiah Masoli missed practice on Monday and Tuesday due to a knee injury that occurred in the first half of Saturday's 52-6 rout of Washington State. He returned to practice on Wednesday on a limited basis, but Nate Costa is expected to get the start at UCLA. Costa entered last week's game with a comfortable 35-0 lead. The redshirt junior saw his first action in three years in mop-up duty against Cal a week earlier. Costa missed the entire 2007 and 2008 seasons due to knee injuries of his own.
More bad news befell the Ducks on Tuesday when cornerback Willie Glasper suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice. Glasper got the job when Walter Thurmond III was lost for the season when he tore ligaments on the opening kickoff against California. Thurmond, a senior and 4-year starter, was considered to be Oregon's best player at any position. He had 5 career TD's on defense and special teams, including an interception return and a punt return this season.
Oregon tight end Ed Dickson is the leading receiver among all tight ends in the Pac-10 with 22 catches for 309 yards and 4 TD's. He has been over the 100-yard receiving mark in each of the last two games. Dickson has become Oregon's career leader for most catches by a tight end with 104.
The Ducks have forced a league-high 13 turnovers, but have lost 12 turnovers, including 10 fumbles, to stand at a modest +1 in turnover margin.
After a slow start, QB Jeremiah Masoli has heated up in wins the last two weeks. Over those two games Masoli has completed 35-of-43 passes (81.4%) with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions, and added 73 yards and a TD rushing.
Freshman TB LaMichael James has rushed 61 times for 351 yards (5.8) and 4 TDs in the Ducks' last three games.
UCLA has won 6 of the last 9 home games against AP-ranked opponents, and a win over Oregon would match the Bruins' win total for all of last year at 4.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Prince could return at QB for UCLA this wek after suffering a broken jaw late in the game at Tennessee. Otherwise, senior Kevin Craft will get the nod.
Placekicker Kai Forbath leads Pac-10 kickers in scoring at 10.8 points per game, field goals at 3 per game and field goal percentage with 12-of-13 accuracy. Forbath has made 7-of-8 career field goal attempts of 50+ yards and needs just two more field goals to move into third place on the Bruin career field goal list.
Freshman TB Johnathan Franklin has led the Bruins in rushing the last three games and is averaging 75.0 yards per game.
The Bruins' defense has held three of four opponents under 300 yards total offense and is giving up just 281.2 yards and 15.5 points per game. UCLA also has 8 interceptions through four games.
The offensive line for UCLA has allowed just 6 QB sacks.
The game kicks off in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California at 3:30 ET on ABC and ESPN GamePlan.