Texas A&M Aggies vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Preview
Where: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena
When: Sunday, September 3, 7:30 PM ET
College Football News and Previews
Betting on the Texas A&M Aggies
Point Spread: +4
Whether he admits it or not, Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin is feeling the pressure (and a warming seat) to deliver for Texas A&M, which went hot in the first half of last season, winning six straight games to open up the campaign before going 2-5 the rest of the way.
Sumlin will have a new quarterback to work with this year, though he’s kept the starter secret heading into the showdown with UCLA. For now, the Bruins’ defense will have to prepare for all three Aggies’ quarterbacks in senior Jake Hubenak, redshirt freshman Nick Starkel, and true freshman Kellen Mond. The Aggies were 38th in the nation last year with 32.2 points per game with Trevor Knight under center.
Knight maybe gone, but wide receiver Christian Kirk and running back Trayveon Williams are still there to lend support on offense. Kirk leads a cast of newbies, so while that group looks to find their identity, the Aggies will likely pound the ball plenty of times on the backfield tandem of Williams and Keith Ford, who combined for 1,726 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Texas A&M allotted 50.40 of their offense to rushing plays in 2016.
The offense really has to do the heavy lifting in keeping Josh Rosen and the Bruins’ attacking crew off the field since the Aggies’ defense could still be reeling with the loss of pass rushers Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall.
Betting on the UCLA Bruins
Point Spread: -4
The fact that Garrett and Hall are no longer roaming the field for Texas A&M is a plus for the Bruins’ offense that’ll be led by the Rosen. Rosen passed for 1,915 yards last season with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions, and was the driving force behind the Bruins’ offense that generated the nation’s sixth best passing attack with 295.6 passing yards per game.
Texas A&M doesn’t present the intimidating type of defense that would make Rosen think twice plenty of times before tossing the football. For one, the Aggies gave up close to 300 passing yards per game last season, so expect Rosen to test the mettle of Texas A&M’s underwhelming secondary. Furthermore, Rosen should be better now than he the last time he faced the Aggies. In last season’s opener, Rosen threw for 343 passing yards on 26 of 46 passing with a touchdown and three interceptions in a 31-24 loss.
The Bruins can’t let Rosen do all the work, however. The absence of Garrett and Hall should encourage UCLA to run the ball more; the Bruins didn’t utilize their backfield that much last season (28.8 carries per game – 125th in the nation).
Josh Rosen and the Bruins (-4) get their revenge in a 38-35 win.
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