The Stanford Cardinal were shocked a week ago when they were upset 21-27 on the road against Utah. This week, they will be hungry for redemption, but have a very tough matchup against the best team in the Pac-12 South.
UCLA is off to a 5-0 start, including a 20-point win over Nebraska. The Bruins are led by one of the best young quarterbacks around in Brett Hundley. Hundley, a dual-threat option in the backfield, has amassed 15 total touchdowns and more than 1,700 total yards so far in 2013.
After back-to-back losses to the Cardinal last season, including in the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Bruins will be looking for redemption as well.
The Stanford offense must get back on track if they want to defeat UCLA. In the loss to Utah, the Cardinal could barely move the ball after scoring on their opening drive, and the Utes were able to capitalize on the opportunity.
Kevin Hogan, Ty Montgomery, and Tyler Gaffney must get into a rhythm early in order to regain some confidence and move the ball against the UCLA’s defense that currently sits at third in the conference in total defense.
On top of regaining confidence on offense, the defense will need to recapture some of its swagger as well. The Cardinal have given up at least 415 total yards in each of the past two weeks, which is a significant step down from where they were a year ago.
Containing Hundley is the main concern, and he can beat you in a number of ways with a number of options. He
has one of the highest passer ratings in the nation, thanks in large part to his 68 percent completion percentage.
Shayne Skov and the Stanford defense also have to worry about running back Jordon James and wide receivers Shaq Evans and Devin Fuller who are all dangerous on the outside.
Stanford could put themselves right back into the Top 10 if they can defeat the Bruins, which is definitely possible considering the talent the Cardinal have on both sides of the ball.
The game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. PT, and it promises to be one of the best conference games of the year so be sure to tune in.