|Tight end Joseph Fauria has been a prime scoring threat for the Bruins with three touchdowns so far. (Getty Images)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Spread: UCLA by 10
Watchability: High. Very high. Two of the hottest teams in the country -- UCLA by way of a 3-0 start, Oregon State needing just one big win over Wisconsin -- duke it out for early conference confidence. Could be the game of the week.
Shining stars: UCLA: Heading into last season, defensive end Datone Jones was so dominant against his own team in practice that it was just assumed he'd toy with opponents. Instead, they played games with him. Not anymore. He leads the conference and ranks fourth nationally with 2.67 tackles for loss per game, and he even caught an offensive touchdown at tight end for the Bruins against Houston. Oregon State: After a near-1,000-yard season, Markus Wheaton looked like an even friendlier target for Sean Mannion. The wide receiver had eight catches for 87 yards against the Badgers, and he's become a true safety valve.
Who could steal the show: UCLA: The myth of Steven Manfro started to grow during spring camp, when the lightly recruited local product broke off big run after big run. Turns out, it's no myth. He has 164 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the Bruins' balanced attack. Oregon State: Senior cornerback Jordan Poyer has been a productive part of the Beavers' defensive backfield. This year, it seems the Beavers are using him more creatively. Poyer may have entered the season with an impressive 17 pass breakups, but he had a 13-yard sack against Wisconsin.
You going? Ranking the road trip: UCLA is among the hottest teams in the conference, moving up to No. 19 in the rankings. Oregon State is coming off a huge win over Wisconsin. This is one of the best games on the early conference schedule.
Magic number for UCLA: 192.7. What a difference a year makes. Or Noel Mazzone. Same difference. Last season, the Bruins averaged 429.33 yards per game through Week 3. Now, 622, second in the country. Is the offensive coordinator really 192.7 yards better per game? Yeah, he is.
Magic number for Oregon State: 60. Most teams in the country have played at least 180 minutes of football so far this year. The Beavers have played just one game, after their season opener was postponed and an early bye week. Oregon State remains a bit of an enigma, but much more will be known after Saturday.
This game comes down to: The line of scrimmage. UCLA's Johnathan Franklin leads the country in rushing, but the Beavers know a thing or two about stopping big-time rushers (See: Montee Ball). If the Bruins win up front, they move to 4-0. If Oregon State can plug the gaps like it did against the Badgers, we've got ourselves a game.
Prediction: UCLA 27, Oregon State 20