PASADENA – The stakes are high in Saturday night’s Pac-12 South game. Although it’s still early in the season and both teams still have common rivals like USC and Utah left on schedules that could shake up the division standings, the winner has a lot to gain.
This season both the Trojans and the Utes seem to be “down” but each team has won the division twice in the past four years.
What can be taken away from Saturday’s game is an advantage in the event of a potential tie-breaking situation.
UCLA will play in Arizona, with ASU another common rival, for the next week straight starting at 7:30 p.m. PT (10:30 p.m. ET). Arizona has lost its last 16 games, but a late start is no good for the Bruins, who may have the opportunity to display an impressive performance that few see, especially on the East Coast.
Pac-12 football teams already know the date and location of the games when the schedule is released, but the start times of the games are announced approximately two weeks due to the selection process by the televised rights holders.
For what it’s worth, the Bruins’ conference-debut victory at Stanford was broadcast on the Pac-12 network but the channel is unplayable for some viewers.
Coach Chip Kelly told the media last week that he would like to play during the day, much like kickoff time against Stanford at 3 p.m., but he knows his team will “play in the parking lot” or “2 a.m.”. ready for. “
The Bruins began the season with a three-game non-conference homestand before traveling for the first road game against the Cardinals.
Each game during that homestand had a later start time than the next, including the Hawaiian at 12:30 p.m. PT, the primetime game with LSU at 5:30 p.m. PT and the Pac-12 after dark game against Fresno State. started.
“I don’t like playing sports at night because then I have to sit all day,” Kelly said. “I wish we could play at 9 in the morning”
Tight end Greg Dulcich uses the extended time to do extra drag, if needed, or just stay off his feet and watch some of the other sports taking place across the country.
“It’s not something we’re really worried about when we’ve started late,” Dulcich said. “It gives us more time to prepare.”
Kelly believes that late start times can affect a variety of situations, including recruiting and post-season awards.
The coach said, ‘When we play, we should not say anything. “We can say, ‘Hey, we want us to play this time’ but when a whole (part) of the country doesn’t get a chance to see you play, that has to be factored in.”
While the Bruins aren’t fielding a Heisman Trophy frontrunner this season, Kelly made reference to Stanford running Christian McCaffrey’s Heisman campaign back and how it played out in 2015.
As a sophomore, McCaffrey (3,684) broke Barry Sanders’ NCAA single-season record (3,250) for all-purpose yards, but lost the Heisman Trophy to Alabama Junior, leaving Derrick Henry behind.
“I’m pretty sure McCaffrey didn’t win the Heisman Trophy because he played so many night games,” Kelly said. “He’s the all-purpose player of all-time in college football history, yet he didn’t win … for me it was because of his lack of risk.
“I think everybody understands that and I don’t have a solution nor am I asked a solution, so they tell us when to play and we play.”
Unlike college, the NFL will play most of its games on Sundays during the day and skip a special game Sunday at 5:20 p.m.
“That’s the part I don’t understand,” Kelly said. “Keep (college games) going and let the fans decide what sport they want to watch … I didn’t get to watch a lot of Pac-12 games. When I was in the NFL a lot of my friends coached the games I’ve never seen an East Coast Pac-12 game at 10:30 p.m. and I love football and I can’t stop.”
UCLA may return to daytime if success continues at the Pac-12 Showdown with Oregon, currently ranked No. 3 in Pasadena, on October 23. The timing and television channel for that game are expected to be announced on Monday morning, October 11.
If the matchup is broadcast on ESPN, it is likely that the network’s “College Gameday” preview show could be broadcast on-site at the Rose Bowl.
Former UCLA linebacker Donnie Edwards served as the Bruins’ honorary captain for the pregame coin toss.
He played for the Bruins from 1992–1995 and earned All-American honors in 1994. He ended his college career with the third-most tackles for losses (38) and fifth in sacks (22.5).
Edwards was drafted by the Kansas Chiefs in the fourth round and also played for the San Diego Chargers during his 13-year NFL career.
center of attention
After being injured in a Stanford game, center Sam Marazzo was not fit for the game against ASU. The status of his injury was not disclosed. Duke Clemens started the game in the center in place of Marazzo.
The Bruins have dealt with mishandled snaps in this season’s games. The trend continued in the first quarter against Arizona State, when a ball went over quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s head. The rumble was recovered by ASU and converted into three points on the following drive with a field goal.
Cornerback Mo Osling III did not play this week after being a limited participant in practice. Tight end Mike Martinez ruled out with a leg injury.