Both UCLA and BYU have had up-and-down starts to their seasons. That will continue on Saturday.
BYU started the Kalani Sitake era with a thrilling win at the buzzer against Arizona, then lost Sitake's second game on a doomed two-point conversion try in the Holy War against Utah. UCLA's 2016 began in heartbreaking fashion, with a comeback-turned-overtime loss at Texas A&M. The Bruins recovered and rolled UNLV a week later, but now they've got another challenging road test in Provo.
Their game will leave someone in a pretty difficult spot, even though BYU doesn't have to worry about conference standings and UCLA hasn't yet waded into Pac-12 play. UCLA is a not-implausible College Football Playoff contender if it can win the Pac-12, but 1-2 wouldn't look good. BYU's trying to win games for itself and also for an ever-watching Big 12. Both teams have lots to gain and lots to lose, and that tends to make for fun football.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2. The broadcasters are Allen Bestwick (play-by-play), Mike Bellotti (analyst) and Kris Budden (sideline).
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: UCLA opened as a 4-point favorite.
Three big things to know
1. UCLA could use some big plays. The Bruins have one of the country's most talented quarterbacks in five-star sophomore Josh Rosen, but he's had a hard time biting off big chunks of yardage. The Bruins are sixth nationally with 31 passes of 10-plus yards, but they're tied for 47th in completions longer than 19 and have just one 30-plus-yard passing play through two games. Rosen's got the arm to move things quickly, but it hasn't worked out yet, and the Bruins are 103rd in the country in IsoPPP, an explosiveness measurement.
2. It's BYU's first home game under its new coach. Sitake has coached at Arizona and Utah so far, but he hasn't gotten a game at Lavell Edwards Stadium. BYU's won 77 percent of its all-time games there, and the place should be rocking for a night game against a Power 5 opponent. To whatever extent this fall's on-field results factor into Big 12 expansion decision-making (honestly, probably not a lot!), BYU and its fans will have chips on their shoulders. But this is a big game under any circumstance, particularly since it's Sitake's first at home.
3. UCLA might have real trouble if it doesn't win. A loss would leave the Bruins 1-2, a week before a home date with Stanford. That game looks like a toss-up, and it's best for the Bruins that they don't get roped into a situation where they're practically playing for their New Year's Six lives in Week 4 against Christian McCaffrey.