Virginia-UCLA Preview Capsule
Virginia (5-7 in 2014) at No. 13 UCLA (10-3 in 2014), 3:30 p.m. (Fox)
Line: UCLA by 19 1/2.
Series Record: UCLA leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
UCLA opens its fourth season under coach Jim Mora with a solid intersectional matchup against coach Mike London’s Cavaliers at the Rose Bowl. The schools are meeting in their season opener for the second straight year after UCLA’s 28-20 win at Charlottesville last season.
Virginia QB Matt Johns vs. UCLA LB Myles Jack. Johns makes his fourth career start against a veteran-laden Bruins defense led by Jack, the do-everything linebacker who made 13 tackles at Virginia last season. Johns played superbly in relief against UCLA last season, but new Bruins defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will send Jack to test his mettle.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Virginia: S Quin Blanding. After leading the nation’s freshmen with 123 tackles in a dynamite debut last season, Blanding is expected to anchor the Cavaliers’ defense.
UCLA: QB Josh Rosen. The freshman debuts for the Bruins after easily winning a training camp competition for the starting job. Mora expects incredible plays and awful mistakes as the nation’s top quarterback recruit attempts to fill the enormous shoes of three-year starter Brett Hundley, but the 18-year-old is preternaturally confident.
FACTS & FIGURES
UCLA scored three defensive touchdowns in the second quarter of its win at Virginia last season. The sequence started with an interception return for a score by Ishmael Adams, but the cornerback is suspended for this game after getting arrested on suspicion of felony assault last weekend. … Virginia hasn’t opened a season away from home since 2007, while the Bruins are at home on the season’s first weekend for just the second time since 2009. … The Cavaliers’ loss to UCLA last season was the only season-opening loss in London’s head coaching career. He had won his first six at Richmond and Virginia. … Virginia is making the school’s second-ever trip to California. The Cavaliers lost at USC in 2010. … Virginia QB Connor Brewer’s two brothers played baseball at UCLA, and his sister plays sand volleyball at USC.