UCLA kicks off their conference slate with their Pac-12 opener against Oregon St. on Saturday, and it's like a whole new opening day. Ryan Rosenblatt of Bruins Nation noted as much in his Q&A post with SB Nation's Oregon St. blog, Building The Dam. One of the interesting dynamics of Saturday's game is that the Bruins have played three games thus far, while Oregon St. has only played one.
The Q&A asked whether or not UCLA had an advantage due to more time working out the kinks on the field, or if OSU had the advantage given the fact that there is less tape of them playing this season:
The advantages you sight for both teams are valid. But at this point, I do think the Bruins have the situational advantage. UCLA has had a lot of game experience now to identify issues from and refine things on both sides of the ball. Oregon St.'s defense probably has an advantage, and being 100% healthy is certainly a part of that. But the Beaver offense wasn't spectacular against Wisconsin, and could still be suffering from those kinks.
That's definitely a fair assessment. If it came down to something like 10 games versus nine games, it's likely a different story. But when one has played three times and the other has only taken the field once this year, it definitely does seem to favor the team that has had some time to work out the kinks. That doesn't mean the Bruins should be favored, it's just one intangible that could have an effect on the game.
Other topics covered in the Q&A include the OSU quarterback situation with Sean Mannion having a solid game a season ago, Mike Riley being the Beavers' playcaller for the first time since 2008, and OSU's new-look dime defense, so it's definitely worth a full read.