UCLA has eyes on upset of No. 12 Washington

Washington is attempting to rebound from a damaging defeat, and coach Chris Petersen isn't thrilled at who will be placing his eyes on the Huskies' injury ravaged secondary.

UCLA standout quarterback Josh Rosen has an NFL future waiting and he will be looking to riddle the Washington defense when the Bruins visit the No. 12 Huskies in Saturday's Pac-12 contest in Seattle.

Rosen, a junior, ranks second nationally in passing yardage with 2,620 and is tied for eighth with 19 touchdown passes. Meanwhile, Washington (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) is preparing three true freshmen and a former running back to help fill the void at cornerback against one of the nation's top gunslingers.

"I think UCLA has a lot of weapons, they always have," Petersen said at a press conference. "They have a lot of speed, and probably the top guy in college football throwing the ball. He's tremendous for sure.

"So this is going to be a really big test. We certainly haven't seen anybody that can throw the ball like he throws it and how they throw it."

The Bruins (4-3, 2-2) have lost seven consecutive road games and possess a leaky defense that has allowed more than 40 points on four occasions this season.

In three road defeats this season -- at Memphis, Stanford and Arizona -- UCLA has allowed an average of 51 points. Coach Jim Mora doesn't have any answers for the away-game issues.

"Nothing I can put my finger on and we're looking for everything," Mora told reporters. "What we try to do is create consistency within the last 24 hours leading up to kickoff. It's a little bit difficult on the road, a little bit more difficult, but we just have to play better."

The Rosen-led offense averages 38.3 points and looks to keep the points flowing against a Washington defense that lost junior cornerback Jordan Miller (broken ankle) in a 13-7 loss to Arizona State on Oct. 14.

The Huskies are also without redshirt freshman Byron Murphy (foot), who was the other starter opposite Miller prior to his mid-September injury.

Sophomore cornerback Myles Bryant stepped in as a starter after Murphy's injury but the loss of Miller prompted a cornerback derby during the bye week following the loss to the Sun Devils. True freshmen Elijah Molden, Keith Taylor and Brandon McKinney are all in the mix as well as Jomon Dotson, a junior who began his career as a running back. Dotson had a 68-yard interception return for touchdown earlier this season.

Having so much inexperience on the field greatly worries Petersen against a player as talented as Rosen.

"He gets the ball out fast. He throws it short, he throws it intermediate, he throws it deep," Petersen said.

"They do it all. They do a great job scheme-wise, and they have a guy who can make all the throws. He can just sit there on his back leg and throw a comeback to the wide side of the field. So he can make all the throws. We will see it all."

Rosen (8,203) became the fourth player in UCLA history to go over 8,000 career passing yards during last Saturday's 31-14 victory over Oregon.

What hasn't been happening enough is his stellar performances resulting in victories. But Rosen is hoping the win over the Ducks will prove to be the start of a strong second half.

"We have a team we believe in," Rosen said. "We've done some incredible things this year and not-so incredible things this year -- you try to pull more from the positive side than the negative. I think we have a lot of guys that really enjoy this sport and enjoy each other. That's all you can really ask for."

Senior receiver Darren Andrews has proven to be a top-flight target with 49 receptions for 634 yards and eight touchdowns. Andrews ranks sixth in UCLA history with 151 career receptions.

Washington is averaging 37.9 points per game but is still stinging from scoring just seven in the dreadful loss to Arizona State.

The Huskies lost standout junior left tackle Trey Adams (knee) in that contest and junior quarterback Jake Browning struggled to get the ball downfield. Browning passed for a season-low 139 yards and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

The setback badly damaged Washington's College Football Playoff aspirations and Petersen addressed the situation with his club during the bye week. He felt the message was received.

"I think it was good. We haven't just let this thing go like, 'Oh well those games happen,'" Petersen said while referencing the unexpected setback. "That will never happen around here. So we've had some really heart-felt talks. Not in a way again like pointing fingers at all. ...

"So to me, it's kind of a reset time and those guys understand that."

UCLA has won 13 of the past 16 meetings. The Bruins won the most recent matchup 44-30 in 2014.
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