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UCLA has shot at signature win at No. 12 Washington

By in Press Enterprise on October 27, 2017

By Thuc Nhi Nguyen

Three years ago, UCLA visited Husky Stadium as a nationally ranked team on its way to a top-10 finish. Things have changed.

As the Bruins stumbled toward conference irrelevance, Washington rose to its first conference championship in 16 years and a berth in the College Football Playoff. UCLA (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) now returns to Seattle at 12:30 p.m. Saturday for a chance at a signature win against the No. 12 Huskies.

UW’s loss to Arizona State two weeks ago knocked the Huskies (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) out of the top-10 rankings, but this can still be UCLA’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2015 and its highest-ranked win since beating then-No. 11 Kansas State in the 2014 Alamo Bowl.

“It’s a big game,” quarterback Josh Rosen said. “It’s probably one of the more important games of any of our careers at UCLA.”

Then the junior quickly caught his mistake.

“Each game is,” he added.

When UCLA has the ball

The Bruins aren’t trying to get distracted by UW’s ranking or its conference crown. Jedd Fisch doesn’t need those things to know how good the Huskies are. Just turn on the tape.

“Our guys have to look at it and say, ‘Can we play our best game regardless of our opponent?’ And then each week, ‘Can we improve to the point where we get better and better than the opponent?’” the UCLA offensive coordinator said. “You can’t just sit there all day talking about where a team is ranked.”

The Huskies haven’t allowed a passing touchdown since Sept. 16, but face Rosen, the Pac-12’s leader in passing yards per game, without two of their starting cornerbacks. Against the best defense in the Pac-12, the Bruins are relying on the same strategy that made them the second-best offense in the conference.

“Just be efficient,” Rosen said. “Play our game. You can’t get […]    

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