The Virginia Cavaliers (0-0) will visit the #13 UCLA Bruins (0-0) on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game will televise at 3:30 pm ET on FOX. The current odds list UCLA as a 20-point favorite with the over/under set at 51.
Matt Johns will continue his role as quarterback after taking over for Greyson Lambert last season. The junior started only three games last year and threw for 8 touchdowns along with 5 interceptions. The Cavaliers also lost both of their running backs and they will rely on Taquan Mizzell to take over the big role. Virginia finished 85th in the FBS in scoring last year and will have to find a way to get points on the board. Virginia will also rely on their run defense to get them through games like this one. The Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in their last four September games.
Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen will get the start in the season opener after a solid spring and summer workouts. He will have his work cut out for him as Virginia loves to blitz and will put pressure on the rookie all day. Paul Perkins will remain the starting running back after finishing 2014 with over 1500 yards on the ground. Defensively, they will be about the same as last year. It will come down to the running game. A good running game will take pressure off of Rosen and will help him find his groove throughout the season. The Bruins are 7-3 ATS in their last ten games in September.
My Pick: Virginia +20
This is too many points for me to pass on. Virginia is a decent team with a decent defense. I think they should be able to contain Perkins to some degree. They blitz, and blitz often and if they could get to the quarterback, they can actually win this game.