1. Take the Quizz—Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers is among the nation’s best, averaging 105 yards a game rushing and leading the nation in touchdowns with 15. He’s also quite versatile with 19 receptions. UCLA has struggled against premier backs this season and it could be a long day for the Bruins if they do so again.
2. Pass the test—With Richard Brehaut settling in as starting quarterback, UCLA showed signs that it’s stagnant passing game was coming to life. Brehaut completed touchdowns of 68 and 49 yards against Arizona, using speedy receivers Randall Carroll and Josh Smith as weapons. If the Bruins linemen can continue to give Brehaut time, he should be able to go downfield some more.
3. Pistol whipped?—UCLA’s Pistol rushing attack was all the rave when the Bruins averaged 322 yards rushing against Houston, Texas and Washington State, but defenses seem to have figured it out. They’ve averaged only 76 yards a game over the last three and a measly 2.3 yards per carry in those games. Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman must get back on track.
4. Getting defensive—This game pits two defenses that have struggled. They have given up an identical 423 yards per game and rank 94th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. UCLA has problems mostly against the run, ranking 107th in run defense, while Oregon State is 107th in pass defense. It could be the team that has the ball last wins.
5. Hold on tightly—Turnovers have been an issue for the Bruins all season and their 13 fumbles lost are more than any team in the FBS. Seven of those fumbles have turned into touchdowns for the opponents and one turned into a field goal. And the Bruins shouldn’t plan on getting any fumbles back: Oregon State is the only FBS team yet to lose a fumble this season.