New Mexico State Aggies vs. UCLA Bruins preview

tSep 14, 2013; Lincoln, NE, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) passes against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins will look to continue their excellent start to the season as they take on the New Mexico State Aggies at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. Here’s a quick look at the important (and maybe not-so-important) things you should know about the two teams.

So how good is Brett Hundley?

Hundley’s 2013 is looking like it’ll be similar to his great 2012 campaign, which spells trouble for the New Mexico State defense. Hundley is 23rd in the nation in passing yards per game and is 14th in total offense. The 6-foot-3, 222-pound sophomore is neck-in-neck with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota when it comes to elite Pac-12 quarterbacks. Expect him to put on a show similar to what he did last week in UCLA’s comeback win over Nebraska (in which he threw for 294 yards and rushed for an additional 61).

Okay, so how good are the Aggies on defense?

Um…things could get ugly, let’s put it that way. New Mexico State is last in the nation in scoring defense, and UCLA is seventh in the nation in scoring offense. The Aggies have also lost 14 straight games dating back to last season, and have lost seven straight games by 20 points or more. Expect to see Hundley pad his Heisman stats in this one.

Besides Hundley, who else is likely to have a big day for the Bruins?

I’d keep an eye on running back Jordan James, who has had the tough job of replacing former running back Jonathan Franklin this year. James’ stats are pretty good through the first few games — he’s rushed for 260 yards and two touchdowns — and he’ll likely put up another 100-yard performance against a New Mexico State defense that’s giving up a whopping 331.33 rushing yards per game.

Also, UCLA wide receiver Shaquelle Evans made some headlines this week with his comments about the USC Trojans. His 178 receiving yards and two touchdowns lead the team, and I expect he’ll be adding to those numbers today.

Oh, and of course you should always keep an eye on Anthony Barr, who just won some defensive player of the week honors for his performance against Nebraska.

Okay, I’m a New Mexico State fan. Is there anything to be hopeful about?

It appears that the president of SkyMall, the reading choice of bored airplane passengers the world over, graduated from New Mexico State. Also, her name is Christine Aguilera. So, uh, I guess that’s kinda cool? The game will still be a slaughter, though. Sorry.

Topics: Brett Hundley, Jordan James, New Mexico State Aggies, UCLA Bruins

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