Quarterback Brett Hundley and the No. 9 UCLA Bruins meet the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal on Saturday afternoon at Stanford Stadium.
Undefeated and boasting the seventh highest scoring offense in the nation, the Bruins could take a commanding lead in the Pac-12 South standings, while keeping pace before next week’s trip up to Oregon.
The Cardinal are trying to bounce back from their first loss of the season, which dropped them out of the Top 10. Stanford fell to Utah on the road, 27-21, when the offense failed to scored in the final minute with the ball on the Utes' six-yard line.
A huge win over Stanford in their own backyard could be just the signature game Hundley needs to gain some traction in the Heisman race. The sophomore is fifth in the Pac-12 with 293 average passing yards a game, and third in passing efficiency with 12 touchdowns to four interceptions.
Junior Jordon James complements Hundley in the backfield with 463 total rushing yards and five touchdowns, headlining the nation’s 21st best running game.
Head coach Jim Mora also has the UCLA defense holding opponents to 18.2 points per game, led by defensive end Keenan Graham’s 5.0 sacks and linebacker Anthony Barr’s 4.0 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss. The Bruins are also fourth in the Pac-12 compiling eight interceptions, with corners Anthony Jefferson and Ishmael Adams, and safety Randal Goforth each notching two picks.
That talented and balanced corps meets the Cardinal leading rusher Tyler Gaffney and quarterback Kevin Hogan. Gaffney is third in the conference with 570 yards and seven touchdowns, and posted his third 100-yard game of the season last week against Utah.
More than half of Hogan’s 246 passing yards went to super receiver and returner Ty Montgomery, who totaled eight receptions for 131 yards and returned a kick-off 100 yards for a touchdown. A week prior, Montgomery began the 31-28 victory over Washington with a 99-yard return for a score.
Stanford will clearly field a difficult test for UCLA’s front seven, and has a defense to match. Senior linebackers Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov anchor the front line with a combined 7.5 sacks and 74 tackles, as the Cardinal are holding opponents to a low 34 percent third-down conversion rate.
Las Vegas Betting Odds: Stanford favored by 6 points
Kickoff Time: 12:30 PM Pacific Time
TV Channel: ABC, and ESPN2 depending on your region of the country.
Where To Watch Online: Watch ESPN here.
Prediction: UCLA 34, Stanford 24
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