The UCLA Bruins are preparing for their bowl game against the Illinois Fighting Illini on December 31. Now that the game is nearly upon us, let's take a look at how the two teams ranked in the 2011 NCAA season.
In overall scoring offense, UCLA ranked No. 85, while Illinois ranked No. 91. Overall defense is quite a different story. While the Bruins were No. 91 overall in total defense, Illinois ranked way up at No. 7.
Breaking the defense down further, the Illini were No. 4 in passing defense, allowing just 159.1 passing yards per game. UCLA was No. 70 in passing defense, allowing 232.6 yards per game. On rushing defense, Illinois was not quite as stingy, allowing 132.67 rushing yards per game and finishing at No. 41 overall by that metric. UCLA still fell short in that category, finishing at No. 95 in national rushing defense at 191.54 yards allowed per game.
UCLA was No. 96 in scoring defense, allowing 32.2 points per game, while Illinois was tied for No. 20 in scoring defense with 20.1 points allowed.
UCLA fared better in the offensive categories than did the Illini. The Bruins were No. 29 in rushing offense, with an average per game of 190.69 rushing yards, while the Illinois squad was No. 42 with 171.17. UCLA also fared better with passing offense, racking up 198.1 yards per game compared to Illinois' 187.0.
When you break down the rankings, it's easy to see why the Illini are favored by three points over the Bruins. UCLA allowing 12.1 more points per game than Illinois in 2011 is a very telling statistic.