WSU-UCLA predictions by CF.C staff and Cougar celebs

IN THE SPIRIT of the late great Cougar d-lineman Leon Bender ... one of Bender's teammates, a former Cougar offensive lineman and member of the celebrated Fat Five, didn't mince words about the boys from Westwood when we solicited his prediction for the WSU-UCLA scrum on Saturday (7:30 pm, ESPN). Here's all of what our prediction panel of Cougar celebrities and CF.C staff had to say.

The seasons are changing and a crisp Pullman air is going to be a difficult challenge for the patsies from Westwood.  The Cougs are playing tough defense and the offense is clicking. I anticipate a defensive score for WSU. Go Cougs! And a final score of ...
WSU 48, UCLA 24.
-- Ryan McShane, WSU Fat Five offensive lineman

Beating UCLA at home is always fun. I remember the '97 season when UCLA came to our place. It was hot…and we had an explosive day on offense. And Leon Bender and the Cougar D made a big impact  at the end of game to get a big win. That day I earned my first offensive lineman of the week award. No place better to play than Martin Stadium… memories of the WSU fans and running out onto the field still gives me chills. UCLA will compete, but the Cougs' offense will play solid. The WSU o-line and d-line will keep the Cougs in the game. GO COUGS!  Rainy No. 79.
WSU 28, UCLA 14
-- Rob Rainville, WSU Fat Five offensive lineman

Wazzu will be in the game against UCLA because of Coach Clay McGuire and his O-Line (RG Eduardo Middleton pictured above).  In my opinion, they have done a tremendous job opening holes in the run game and giving Luke Falk enough time to throw the ball.  Games are won and lost in the trenches and the Wazzu O-Line gets it done against the Bruins!
WSU 35 ,UCLA 24
-- Jason McEndoo, WSU Fat Five offensive lineman

Another personal game for the LA guys on the WSU roster, and the entire team will feed off their energy. Not to mention it's HOMECOMING. #GoCougs #KeepItGoing  
WSU 41, UCLA 10
-- Jeremiah Allison, WSU linebacker 2012-15

The Washington State running game will play a major role, the Cougar defense will continue to roll.
WSU 35, UCLA 14
-- Jack Thompson, Wazzu Legend

Washington State's defense takes advantage of UCLA QB problems and the Cougs run to a win at home.
WSU 34, UCLA 17
-- Jed Collins, WSU tight end 2004-08 and CF.C contributor

The Cougs blitz the backup QB big time and he looks like a Bruin staring into a truck's head lights. Go Cougs!
WSU 38, UCLA 21
-- Paul Sorensen, All-America WSU safety and CF.C contributor

The Cougar offense will put too much pressure on the UCLA defense. Why? Because the Bruin offense is not great even with QB starter Josh Rosen.
WSU 31, UCLA 17
-- Jim Walden, WSU head coach 1978-86.

Will Josh Rosen play this weekend? I don't think it matters. With the WSU offense humming, the Cougs are looking tough to stop. The loss of LB Logan Tago could hurt WSU, but not enough to change the outcome. The Cougars improve to 4-2, and 3-0 in Pac-12 play.
WSU 35, UCLA 21
-- Braulio Perez, Associate Editor/Recruiting Guru

UCLA defense gives the Cougs some problems, but the Bruin offense can't move the ball. Nickel/safety Shalom Luani puts a stamp on the game with a pick-six.
WSU 27, UCLA 10
--Jason Puckett, KJR radio host

The backup QB limits the Bruins and the Cougs will have a tough time with the UCLA defense. But Erik Powell will win it with his first field goal of the year.
WSU 24, UCLA 21
-- Jim Moore, 710 ESPN Seattle radio host

I see a close game for 35:00, and then the Bruin D tires and Wazzu pulls away. A balanced attack for WSU burns clock to set up a strong finish.
WSU 31, UCLA 14
-- Lew Wright, Associate Editor

California Cougar players like Gabe Marks, River Cracraft and Gerard Wicks (as just a few examples) were thrilled last season to finally see the UCLA game reappear on WSU's schedule for the first time since 2012. I doubt any of the Bruins can say the same about facing Wazzu. And I think that also plays right into WSU's hands.
WSU 35, UCLA 27
-- Matt Moore, Analyst

I'd offer a better pick if I was best buddies with Anthony Venute, the head trainer at UCLA, who likely knows best whether Josh Rosen's shoulder and Takkarist McKinley's groin will be 100 percent at 7:30 pm on Saturday night in Pullman. If so, I'll take the unpredictable Bruins with a one-point revenge win in a game of evenly matched teams. If it's backup QB Mike Fafaul time, then Wazzu wins 21-17.
-- Mike Olson, Digital Senior Manager

Bruins keep it close for a half, but Gabe Marks has his most productive game of the season and a Cougar victory follows.
WSU 42, UCLA 20
-- John Witter, CF.C Managing Editor Emeritus

Even if Josh Rosen plays, he's going to be limited physically. With the way WSU's hair-on-fire defense is rockin' and the way UCLA's run game has run aground, I don't see the Bruins lighting up the scoreboard. The stout Bruin D will keep matters close, but there's only so much to be done against an Air Raid offense that is crushing Pac-12 foes right now.  And yes, Erik Powell kicks a field goal.
WSU 31, UCLA 17.
-- Greg Witter, Executive Editor

The weather, and whether QB Josh Rosen plays, will mean the difference in this one. But only in whether it's a relatively close WSU win, or the third straight Pac-12 game where the Cougars decaffeinate the opponent by a wide margin.  I'm going to guess that Rosen does not play but that the weather (especially a gusty wind that adversely affects WSU's passing game) will keep things close.   But that won't stop Erik Powell, lined up in the middle of the field, from drilling his first field goal of the season to make it a double-digit win over the school where All-Americans go to get soft. We still miss you, Leon Bender.
WSU 24, UCLA 13
-- Barry Bolton, Managing Editor

RELATED STORY: WSU's Fat Five and where they are now

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