NCAAF · Sat (10/2) @ 10:40pm ET
|Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California|
Our Pick: ASU Arizona State at Over 56 (-110). Get $1,000 at BetMGM today!
Six of the past eight in this series would have covered this number, so it isn’t unusual for these two to turn football fields into three-ring circuses. Trapeze acts and human cannonballs. Step right up.
The tailbacks for both sides rate on the national landscape, but the real star of this show will be Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The senior has made incremental improvements each season and is poised for success.
On the other side, third-year sophomore Jayden Daniels has been a marksman this season. The Sun Devils average almost 30 points, the Bruins nearly 39. If this goes to script, UCLA takes a sizeable advantage and ASU scampers back into it in the fourth quarter.
Bring enough cotton candy, popcorn and cider for the entire show.
Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1)
The ground general for the Devils is Rachaad White (6-2, 195), a junior from Kansas City, Mo., who is tied for 11th in the country with six rushing touchdowns. He has averaged 4.7 yards on 55 runs.
He will keep UCLA fifth-year senior weakside backer Mitchell Agude, and his fellow hounds, on their heels because White has also caught 20 passes, for 187 yards and a touchdown.
To add to ASU’s dimensions, two others—tailback Daniyel Ngata and Daniels, the signal-caller—have gained more than 200 yards on the ground, too.
Daniels completes 72.6% of his attempts, the No. 11 completion rate in college football, and has thrown for 808 yards. Oddly, only two have been for scores and three have been intercepted.
That will change Saturday night. UCLA’s opponents average 46 passes a game, the fifth-highest rate in the nation. That translates into an average of 330 aerial yards, eighth-most in the game.
Expect a flurry of yellow flags on the Rose Bowl grass, too, as ASU gets called for 10 penalties a game. Only Ole Miss, with 11.5 a game, gets whistled more frequently. It’s as if The Vontaze Burfict Effect still lingers in Tempe.
As for the Bruins, they average 11.2 yards per penalty, bested only by Texas State (11.7) and South Alabama (11.9). This might not be pretty, and it might take a while to complete. But the scoreboard operator will be pooped afterward.
Arizona State At UCLA Full Sportsbook Odds
UCLA Bruins (3-1)
Much has been made, in recent years, of coach Chip Kelly’s youth movement. The Bruins have been pups, and their inexperience has cost them. For the first time in the 16-game series, they lost to San Diego State—and in Pasadena—in 2019.
However, they’ve all grown up, and nobody has been more impressive than Thompson-Robinson (6-1, 200), the Vegas native whose yards-per-attempt rate has improved from 6.8 to 7.5 to 8.1 to, this season, 10.3. That’s fifth in the nation.
The impressive offense averages 0.588 points per play, No. 12 in the country.
With junior tailback and Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet (6-1, 220) sharing the backfield with DTR, defenses have learned the meaning of misery. Charbonnet averages 7.8 yards per dash, and his seven TDs are tied for fifth nationally.
DTR’s main passing target has been fourth-year junior Kyle Phillips (5-11, 184), whose five TD receptions also tie him for fifth in the country. ASU’s offensive line will be wary of Agude, whose four forced fumbles have him atop that national chart.
Sports Betting Recommendation
The two models on which I rely have these two scoring 67 points in one outcome, 71 in the other. After this, Thompson-Robinson has three home games remaining in his collegiate career.
There could be one more, should the 20th-ranked Bruins can get into the actual Rose Bowl. They last participated in the New Year’s Day game on their own field after the 1998 season. ASU last played in it after the ’96 campaign.
UCLA took a chop to the gut when it lost at home, 40-37, to Fresno State, but that wasn’t DTR’s fault. A national-playoff spot was lost that day, but he still has a shot at adding one more home game to his résumé.