Colorado coach Deion Sanders is hoping the Buffaloes’ open date last week provided enough rest before of Colorado’s Pac-12 clash with No. 23 UCLA on Saturday. In the Buffaloes last game, they squandered a 29-0 halftime lead, the biggest lead blown in college football since 2019, against Stanford in a 46-43 double-overtime loss to fall to 4-3 and 1-3 in Pac-12 play. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders threw for 400 yards and five touchdowns in the loss.
UCLA played the same Cardinal team one week ago, pulling away 42-7 behind three touchdowns from running back Carson Steele. The Bruins made a quarterback change, benching freshman Dante Moore for veteran Ethan Garbers. He rewarded UCLA with 240 yards passing and two touchdowns in the win. UCLA has declined to name a starting quarterback ahead of the game on Saturday.
The Bruins have dominated this rivalry since the Buffs joined the Pac-12, but Colorado has fought back in recent years. It won three of five games from 2016 to 2020, though all three wins came in Boulder. Otherwise, Colorado is 1-8 against UCLA in Pasadena and lost the last two games against UCLA by a combined 89-37.
Colorado vs. UCLA: Need to know
Battle of playmakers: Colorado and UCLA possess legitimate NFL talent on both sides of the ball. Sanders’ mastery of the nation’s No. 3 passing offense has moved him up to No. 18 in the CBS Sports NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, and combo cornerback-wide receiver Travis Hunter is a surefire first-round draft pick in 2025. For UCLA, defensive end Laiatu Latu ranks No. 13 and Gabriel Murphy sits at No. 99 in the prospect rankings. Running back Carson Steele and wide receiver J. Michael Sturdivant also have serious NFL futures when they leave school.
Dominant defense: Chip Kelly teams are historically known for their offense, but first-year defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn has quickly turned around the defensive unit. The Bruins rank No. 11 nationally in total yards per game and No. 8 in yards per play. Latu has grown into a potential first-round NFL Draft pick, posting 6.5 sacks, 6.0 quarterback hurries and an interception in seven games. UCLA ranks No. 8 nationally with 24 sacks, potentially an unbeatable number for a struggling Colorado offensive line.
Running out of steam: Colorado started the year with a 3-0 record and wins over TCU and Nebraska. However, things have slowly started unraveling since a double-overtime win over Colorado State. The Buffs have since gone 1-3 since with the only win coming against Arizona State, and the Sun Devils have yet to beat an FBS team in 2023. The schedule only gets more difficult with three ranked opponents in the final five games, including the battle against No. 23 UCLA. Colorado needs to win two more games to reach bowl eligibility.
How to watch Colorado vs. UCLA live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 28 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Rose Bowl — Pasadena, California
TV: ABC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Colorado vs. UCLA prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Colorado has played well against teams it can bait into shootouts, but UCLA is not that kind of team. The Bruins have held their Pac-12 opponents to just 18.5 points per game and boast a top-10 rushing offense to control games. Unless the Buffaloes found some new defensive linemen to counter the run over the bye week, UCLA should be able to bowl over the Buffs with ease. Pick: UCLA -17
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