This could end up being a preview of the Pac-12 title Game, but with the way things have gone in the Conference so far, there’s no telling who will reach that Game. With both teams off last weekend, Stanford gets the edge at home as a -6 point favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
UCLA has its eyes on an upset after getting upended last year in the regular season’s final Game. The Bruins had a chance to win the Pac-12 South and a meeting with Oregon, but the Cardinal came out of nowhere and dominated UCLA at the Rose Bowl, 31-10. Stanford’s defense dominated while the offense ate up the clock as Kevin Hogan went 16-of-19 and they rushed for just over 200 yards.
This year, UCLA was looking like the top team in the Conference until its last Game when the Bruins unexplainably lost at home to Arizona State. While it was earlier in the season, the loss was similar to that 2014 loss to Stanford.
This Game should be plenty fun, with Stanford playing great, and UCLA hoping not to lose back-to-back Games. The Bruins still have to travel to Utah and USC.
since their opening loss, the Cardinal have been winning some impressive Games, from at USC 41-31, to their most recent 55-17 dominance of an undefeated Arizona squad. There’s no doubt UCLA will be hungry for a win in this Game, but how much will it matter?
Stanford has had success because of its running Game, which was something they lacked last season. Christian McCaffrey has 601 yards on the year and has surpassed 100 yards in three straight, while Barry Sanders has a 65-yard run in each of the last two Games. UCLA isn’t an easy team to run against, but the loss of linebacker Myles Jack makes things easier for opposing offenses.
The Bruins lost to a balanced attack in Arizona State, and that’s something Stanford can provide if Hogan is playing well. since the opening loss, Hogan has looked solid, completing 67.5% of his passes for 9 TDs on the year. He went 17-of-19 against Arizona and 18-of-23 at USC, two big-time Games. The Bruins will have their hands full on defense because of that reason.
UCLA’s hopes will depend on the arm of Josh Rosen if the defense doesn’t have success. Rosen, a true freshman quarterback has been good this year, but hasn’t had that needed spark in big Games. He hasn’t really been asked to do much and against Arizona State, didn’t really do enough, completing 22-of-40 passes for 280 yards. While that’s the case, this offense won’t work if Paul Perkins can’t find room. Perkins has 577 yards and 7 TDs on the year, but has only averaged 3.5 yards per carry over the last two Games and it’s hard to see that changing against Stanford.
Without a win here, the Bruins face a long road ahead and could be in for another loss or two after being ranked in the Top 10. Expect a lot of fight, but if Stanford keeps up its recent play, it’s going to take a monumental effort to upset them.
The Cardinals have covered six of the last seven meetings between these teams and six of the last eight in Stanford. The Bruins have covered in five straight off a bye and the Cardinal five straight Pac-12 Games.
Our Pick – This is being written early Monday morning and as of this writing there are still a couple of 6’s on the board. No strong opinion on this one, however Our early feeling is that this will be a close, back and forth Game. In which case, we’d prefer to grab any points we can. Check back on Thursday however, as Our opinion may change once we dig a little deeper into this one. For now, UCLA +6