Published: Sep 13, 2012 10:20 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 14, 2012 6:33 AM EDT


No. 22 UCLA (2-0) vs. Houston (0-2), 7:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

Line: UCLA by 17..

Series Record: Tied 3-3.


UCLA is ranked for the first time in more than four years, and the Bruins are playing a home game with a ranking for the first time in a half-decade. The good feelings of a strong start under new coach Jim Mora won't last long if the Bruins stumble against the rebuilding Cougars, who beat UCLA in last year's season opener.


Houston QB David Piland vs. UCLA CBs Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price. The Cougars' pass-happy offense was trouble for UCLA last season, and Piland threw 77 times last week against Louisiana Tech without an interception, setting an NCAA record. Hester and Price are seniors who say they're relishing the spotlight they'll face.


Houston: RB Charles Sims. The Cougars are a passing team, but don't forget about Sims. The junior averages 6.0 yards per carry in his career.

UCLA: RB Johnathan Franklin. The senior known as "Jet Ski" is the NCAA's leading rusher through two games with 431 yards, finally harnessing his considerable potential behind an offensive line with three freshmen starters. Houston's defense has given up a jaw-dropping 493 yards rushing in its first two games.


Houston is fourth nationally with 395.5 yards passing per game this season, while UCLA is second in rushing offense with 343.5 yards per game. ... The Cougars have won six straight road games, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. ... UCLA was ranked for one week during the 2008 season after beating Tennessee in Rick Neuheisel's debut, but the Bruins fell out of the rankings during an ensuing bye week and never reached the Top 25 again under the fired coach. ... Franklin rushed for 128 yards against Houston last season and 158 in 2010 as a sophomore. ... Houston coach Tony Levine will coach his first true road game. The Cougars beat Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas.