The Eagles will soon face one of the most daunting challenges in their history. On Saturday, Sept. 16, the team travels to Pasadena to face #24 ranked UCLA at the legendary Rose Bowl Stadium. This is the first time in school history that we will face a ranked Football Bowl Subdivision team.
On offense UCLA is averaging a total of 31 points a game. With an average of 203 rushing yards and 280 passing yards. The Bruins defense is also holding their own by only allowing 11.5 points on average. They keep their opponent under 60 total rushing yards for the game on average
This immense challenge is not impossible to overcome. It has happened in the past on multiple occasions. Howard won against UNLV in 2017, Tennessee State beating Georgia State in 2017 and A&T defeating ECU in 2018.
This brings the question, how do we increase our odds of winning? That can be summarized by the words of one of the all time most quotable NFL owners, Al Davis.
“The other team’s quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard,” he said.
That has to be the defenses mindset going into the game on Saturday. And a case can be made, based on defensive statistics, that the Eagles have a defense up to the challenge.
“Our secondary is much older and faster than last year,” said Coach Oliver.
The Eagles secondary will be tested this week by going against one of the top wide receivers in the country. J.Micheal Sturdivant. A 6-foot 3-inch 205-pound speed receiver, who is a skilled route-runner.
The Eagles’ offensive line will need to do their job at an elite level. Running back Latrell Collier will need space, so he can break out big plays. The Bruins safeties will drop closer to the ball. This change of play allows quarterback Davius Richard to hit open wide receivers easier on their routes.
According to ESPN Analytics we have a 99% chance of losing. However, this chance is not 100%. Will the Eagles upset one of the top 25 college football teams in the country?