These teams aren’t much different than what we’ve seen the last few seasons. UCLA continues to disappoint and Stanford remains a one-trick pony without a quarterback that can move the ball. With both ill-affording to lose this Game, the Cardinal were -7.5 point home favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Memphis was a popular upset candidate against UCLA last week and that’s exactly what happened as the Bruins couldn’t stop anything they did in a 48-45 loss. Now, after escaping past Texas A&M in the opener, this team doesn’t look any better than a year ago when it had Four wins. On the other side, Stanford appears to be the same defensive powerhouse, but winning the Conference is almost already out of the cards.
UCLA put up a good fight in this Game last year, leading for just about the entire Game, up 13-9 with around 30 seconds left. But an improbable series of events turned the Scorearound as the Cardinal charged down the field for a Game-winning touchdown and then returned a fumble on the final play of the Game for a 22-13 win. As seen in that Game, UCLA may be able to stick around, but likely don’t have the defense to get an upset.
The Cardinal had a normal Game as they rushed for 207 yards and held the Bruins to just 2.3 yards per carry. Josh Rosen played a fine Game, but the 13 points clearly wasn’t enough. This time around, Bryce Love will be the one ripping apart the UCLA defense as he already has 524 yards and Four touchdowns on a ridiculous 12.2 yards per carry. And with how the first couple Games have went, there’s no reason to believe UCLA will be able to stop Love. The question is if Keller Chryst can do anything in the passing Game after getting little accomplished so far this season. On the positive side of things, this is actually Stanford’s first home Game, so that has to count for something with Chryst. This is also a defense that has been gashed by every quarterback it’s faced.
With that, Rosen will have to play another calm and composed Game for UCLA. That will require no turnovers and moving the ball slowly down the field so Stanford can’t eat up the clock on the other end. Rosen has looked great with 1,283 yards and 13 touchdowns, but the ground Game is still an issue and it’s unlikely the Bruins will find much room against this Stanford front. Then again, they were just gashed by USC and SDSU so there’s every reason to believe UCLA will find a way to move the ball, just like last year.
With Rosen under center, there’s no reason not to take the Bruins here. Stanford may be able to run the ball, but without a viable quarterback, the Cardinal will continue to struggle putting teams away. Because of that, Rosen is good enough by himself to Scoreand keep this Game close. The Bruins may not be very good, but they will remain competitive with Rosen at the helm. UCLA +7