A little less than three years ago, UCLA raced out to a 17-0 rushed for 331 yards, then barely held off Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett for 40-35 Alamo Bowl win over Kansas State. Next week at the Cactus Bowl, Los Angeles Times beat writer Ben Bolch says he’s expecting a similar scoreline, but the success of the two offenses could look considerably different.
Ben wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bruins load the box and dare the ‘Cats to pass, because that’s probably the only way the Pac-12’s worst run defense (282.7 yards per game) is going to stop K-State’s formidable ground attack. On the other side, Josh Rosen is far more than just “the thinking man’s frat boy” and he’s matured into the capable leader of a diverse, pro-style offense that will present plenty of challenges for the Wildcats secondary, but has struggled at times to run the ball consistently.
Special teams and some rust from a host of distractions could also cause problems for UCLA, who hopes to finally return to glory (think Texas over the last 6 years and multiply that by about 3) with its recent hiring of Chip Kelly.
Don’t forget to check out Ben’s great coverage on the LA Times website, and you can follow him on Twitter @latbbolch.
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