Two schools that met twice last season are heading in different directions, as UCLA are still undefeated and potentially with a chance to shake up the conference picture and the BCS scenario, while Stanford are coming off their first loss of the season, hoping to keep their big hopes alive.
With all of their impressive start this season, UCLA have only one win over a ranked team (Nebraska), while their conference wins have come over California and Utah, the same Utah, in the same venue that Stanford lost in last week to the Utes.
The Cardinal have a slightly more impressive record when it comes to the CV of their opponents, beating Arizona State and Washington, although not looking all that impressive while doing so. This game should give Stanford their toughest defensive run of the season, as UCLA are fifth in the nation with 547 yards per game and averaging 45.8 per contest, fifth in the nation.
Sophomore Brett Hundley is doing brilliantly well, throwing 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions so far this season, throwing for 1469 yards so far. He can also run when necessary, going for over 61 yards three times so far this season on the ground.
Stanford find themselves with this kind of set back: one loss they didn’t expect to have as problems offensively ruined their chances against Utah, although it did come down to only six yards, as Kevin Hogan experienced his first loss of his career, unable to connect on a fourth down six yards before the Utah goalline.
Stanford are only 11th in the Pac-12 with 405 yards per game. They’re averaging 334 over the last two games (struggled against Washington as well), including only 143 yards on the ground against Utah.
UCLA were in the same position last season before meeting Stanford for the first time, heading into that game with a 5-0 record before going on a three-game losing streak that didn’t stop them from winning their division, but keeping them out of any BCS discussion or anyone actually thinking they can beat Oregon and Stanford for the Pac-12 title.
Prediction – Stanford at home are a different team than what we saw from them in Salt Lake City, but UCLA are a better team than they were last season, not relying so much on their ground game as before. With Stanford’s offense stuttering, this is going to be the chance for the Bruins to prove their more than just a division powerhouse.