UCLA (4-1, 1-1) at Stanford (4-1, 3-0)
When: Thursday, October 15th, 2015
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA
Time: 10:30 ET
TV: ESPN Radio: XM 84
The Stanford Cardinal look to keep their perfect Pac-12 record when they play host to 18th ranked UCLA on Thursday night. Stanford is coming off an impressive 55-17 victory over Arizona in which they amassed 570 yards of total offense including 314 on the ground. Christian McCaffrey ran for 156 yards on just 17 carries including a touchdown. Quarterback Kevin Hogan, who is completing 71% of his passes this season, was 17-of-19 with two touchdowns. He has now thrown 9 touchdowns to only two interceptions. Stanford has scored at least 24 points in each of the past 7 wins against the Bruins, and Hogan threw for 234 yards and two TD’s in last season’s 31-10 victory. Linebacker Blake Martinez had 13 tackles in Stanford’s win over Arizona on Oct. 3rd and leads the FBS with 12.6 tackles per game, but the defense has only created three turnovers in five games. The schedule sets up real nice for Stanford the rest of the way. Including tonight, they should be favored in every game the rest of the season and could very well meet Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game. If they can run the table, their opening week loss at Northwestern might be forgotten.
UCLA does not plan to lay down as they have a very explosive offense which averages 34.8 points per game. The Bruins opened the season 4-0 before being upset at Arizona State in their last game 38-23. Running back Paul Perkins has rushed for 7 touchdowns and averages 115.4 yards a game, but he was held to 63 yards against Arizona State. Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen has thrown 9 touchdowns against 5 interceptions. UCLA has lost defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, cornerback Fabian Moreau and linebacker Myles Jack to season-ending injuries and will be hard-pressed to slow down the Stanford running attack. The injury-depleted defense has allowed 545 rushing yards in the last two contests and needs a strong showing from linebackers Kenny Young and Deon Hollins to help contain McCaffrey. This would be a big win for UCLA tonight since, like Stanford, will be favored in their next four games before a showdown with South leading Utah on November 21st.
UCLA is very talented, but I’m not sure they can make up for the injury losses on defense. Stanford historically as a strong offensive line and great rush attack and this year is no exception. I think Stanford controls the time-of-possession like they have in 10 of their past 11 games, and cruises to a victory tonight.
Pick: Stanford -6.5