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3,2,1 football: The Daily’s primer on UCLA

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3,2,1 football: The Daily’s primer on UCLA

Washington's Sean McGrew smiles after the UW's game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl in 2018. The Huskies and Bruins are playing for the first time since the 2018 meeting on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Husky Stadium.

Following a loss to Oregon State and a bye week, the Washington football team is back home this weekend against UCLA. Before the Huskies (2-3, 1-1 Pac-12) take the field Saturday, let’s take a look at how the Bruins (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) shape up.

3 numbers to know

224.5: UCLA has rushed for 224.5 yards per game this season, the second-highest total in the Pac-12 behind Oregon State. The Bruins have two of the top three leading rushers in the conference this season with Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown.

2014: The Bruins have not beat the Huskies since 2014. Due to conference scheduling, the teams have only played twice since then, with both matchups ending in comfortable Washington victories. The most recent meeting between the teams was a 31-24 Washington victory in Chip Kelly’s first season as UCLA head coach. This will be the first time Washington head coach Jimmy Lake faces UCLA.

400: The Bruins have the worst pass defense in the Pac-12. UCLA’s defense has given up more than 400 yards per game this season and more than 300 yards per game through the air. Despite allowing opponents to drive up and down the field with them, the Bruins have been able to slow teams down in the red zone, only giving up an average of three touchdowns per game.

2 players to watch

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson: Thompson-Robinson has been the star of the Bruins’ offense this season. Thompson-Robinson comes into this weekend with 1,236 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air. Along with his passing skills, Thompson-Robinson is a threat on the ground with 242 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

The dynamic dual-threat quarterback currently ranks second in total rushing yards for a quarterback in the conference. Slowing Thompson-Robinson down will be key for the Huskies.

Linebacker Bo Calvert: Calvert is the heart of the Bruin defense and its pass rush. He leads the team in sacks with three and also has 22 total tackles — making him fifth on the team. 

Calvert has spent his entire college career in Westwood. Last season, Calvert had 29 tackles in the pandemic-shortened season and one tackle for loss. He is currently on pace for a career year in his senior season at UCLA.

1 recap of last week

Last week, UCLA traveled down to Tucson to take on Arizona. Despite a slow start — only leading the Wildcats 14-13 at the half — the Bruins were able to pull away in the second half, winning the game with a final score of 34-16.

UCLA was led by a standout performance from running back Brown, who ran for 146 yards and a touchdown on just 12 attempts. Brown’s touchdown came on a 48-yard run, his longest of the season. Thompson-Robinson had a down game, throwing for only 82 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

After giving up 13 points in the first half, the Bruins’ defense shut down the Wildcats in the second half, holding them to only three points. UCLA also recovered two fumbles in the second half.

Reach reporter Nick Lombroia at Twitter: @lombroia

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