Stanford 27, UCLA 24: Extra Notes

— Kevin Hogan was named the game MVP. As usual, Stanford’s redshirt freshman didn’t throw for big numbers (16 of 22, 155 yards, 1 TD), but came through late. The Cardinal entered the fourth quarter down a touchdown, but Hogan found Drew Terrell for a 26-yard touchdown to tie the game. He also rushed for 47 yards and a score on Friday night.

“He’s very poised,” said UCLA head coach Jim Mora. “He’s careful with the ball. He makes good decisions when he’s on the move, when he’s outside of the pocket, and I think they did a nice job of using him as a runner tonight.”

— Brett Hundley passed Cade McNown’s single-season record for total offense, set in 1998 at 3,652. Hundley, who passed for 177 yards against the Cardinal and ran for 83, now has 3,776.

— Johnathan Franklin’s major milestones were breaking Maurice Jones-Drew’s career all-purpose yards record and Karim Abdul-Jabbar’s single-season rushing mark. He also cracked Terrence Austin’s single-season all-purpose mark of 1,878, set in 2008. Franklin has 2,024 after rushing for 194 and catching for 24.

— Before Friday, Stanford had allowed two rushing plays of over 40 yards (77 at Oregon, 61 at Washington). The Cardinal gave up two more in just the fourth quarter against UCLA, a 51-yarder to Johnathan Franklin and a 48-yarder to Brett Hundley.

- UCLA set a new program record for single-season offensive yards. The 1998 team had 5,847. This year’s squad has 6,169. The first-down record was broken too. These Bruins were already tied with the old mark (292, in 1988) entering the game. They now have 314.

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Stanford 27, UCLA 24: First thoughts

STANFORD, Calif. — Wow. What an exciting football game, and what a gut punch for the UCLA players. (Game story here.) Some quick takeaways:

Franklin’s dominance: Johnathan Franklin came through with easily his best performance of the season. The Doak Walker finalist bounced back from his 65-yard showing a week ago, running roughshod over the nation’s top-ranked rushing defense. In front of a national audience — even LeBron James watched at least part of the game — Franklin grinded out 194 yards and two touchdowns on just 19 carries. (Why not more touches?!) No other back had run for more yards against the Cardinal, and only one team had more (Oregon, 198).

“We blocked better,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. “We found some seams. We got to the second level. … Johnathan’s a hard runner. He’s a guy that’s tough to bring down.”

That All-Pac-12 first team snub looks worse by the day.

Youth hurts: As splendid as Brett Hundley has been this season, his second-quarter interception to Ed Reynolds sucked away all of UCLA’s momentum. The redshirt freshman quarterback nearly threw another pick to A.J. Tarpley, but the linebacker bobbled a gift of a throw.

Only the beginning? Fans can take some solace in the fact that UCLA absolutely won the offseason hiring battle. Getting Jim Mora wasn’t a widely lauded move, but he’s Better yet, he doesn’t seem like a coach that will move on anytime soon. He spent over two decades in the NFL, and said he had doubted his coaching future after the Seahawks fired him. There may be some allure in trying to prove himself again as a pro, but he seems comfortable at the college level, and likely doesn’t want to uproot his family.

There’s little shame in losing to a Stanford team that has now swept the other three California schools for a third year straight.

“They should be proud of what they accomplished,” Mora said. “You did poll people at the start of the season. If anybody thought that we’d have been sitting here tonight with less than 45 seconds left on the clock to tie it or even win it, I’m not sure anyone would have taken that bet. …

“I think there are a lot of bright things on the horizon for UCLA football.”

Going bowling: Stanford is going to the Rose Bowl and Oregon is a lock for the Fiesta. UCLA will end up in either the Alamo Bowl, which has the next pick out of the Pac-12, or the Holiday Bowl. That means a third- or fourth-place Big 12 opponent, with the choices being Oklahoma State, Texas or TCU. Oregon State, whose fans tend to travel better, will end up in whatever bowl doesn’t take the Bruins. UCLA has the Los Angeles TV market on its side. At this point, I’d still bet on the destination being Alamo Bowl. We’ll find out Saturday evening.

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Pac-12 Championship: Running score

Stanford 27, UCLA 24 – 6:49 fourth quarter: UCLA got the clutch defensive play it needed, with Randall Goforth breaking up the end zone pass. Stanford settles for a 36-yard field goal by Jordan Williamson. Bruins limited that Cardinal drive to just 25 yards on five plays after a big punt return by Drew Terrell.

UCLA 24, Stanford 24 – 11:21 third quarter: Kevin Hogan ties the game with a 26-yard pass to Drew Terrell. UCLA cornerback Sheldon Price had a clear shot at tipping the pass, but jumped too early. One of Hogan’s better throws tonight caps a 10-play, 58-yard drive that was mostly Stepfan Taylor runs.

The Bruins just can’t shake the Cardinal despite more than a 100-yard edge in total offense. UCLA has committed seven penalties for 64 yards. Stanford has three for 25.

UCLA 24, Stanford 17 – 1:04 third quarter: Johnathan Franklin continues to completely wreck Stanford’s vaunted run defense. This time, a 20-yard scamper gives UCLA’s star tailback his second score of the day, capping the Bruins’ 12-play, 80-yard drive. In what has already been a remarkable season by Franklin, this is the gem.

He already has 173 rushing yards on just 15 carries with over a quarter to go. Few teams have been able to rush for triple digits against Stanford, with Oregon rolling up the most with 198 on 40 carries.

UCLA 17, Stanford 17 – 8:20 third quarter: The Bruins tie the game on a 31-yard field goal from freshman Ka’imi Fairbairn, who has incredibly reliable from short range all season. UCLA’s nine-play, 47-yard drive stalled as Brett Hundley couldn’t find open receivers, including Joe Fauria running out of bounds to make himself ineligible to receive.

Johnathan Franklin continues one of his best games of the season. His 32-yard run on the drive helped give him 149 on the day, more than any other back has against Stanford.

Stanford 17, UCLA 14 – 0:02 second quarter: Jordan Williamson’s 37-yard field goal breaks the game’s streak of five straight punts, giving the Cardinal a slight edge heading into halftime. The 10-play, 62-yard drive was mostly Kevin Hogan on both passes and runs, but tailback Stepfan Taylor set up the field goal with a 9-yard scamper — one that made him Stanford’s all-time leading rusher.

The natural grass field at Stanford Stadium is getting slippery, and it’s started to affect a number of plays. Even officials have lost their footing.

UCLA 14, Stanford 14 – 12:57 second quarter: Brett Hundley makes a costly mistake, forcing a throw to Joe Fauria that just wasn’t there. That gets taken back 80 yards on a eye-popping return by safety Ed Reynolds, who misses out on a pick six after the play is reviewed. Stepfan Taylor punches the ball in on a one-play, one-yard drive.

Bruins absolutely had all the momentum until that interception, having just churned out 59 yards in six plays. That included a 31-yard run by Franklin and a 17-yard pass from Hundley to Fauria.

UCLA 14, Stanford 7 – 3:40 in the first quarter: Brett Hundley abuses the Stanford defense with his legs, finding space on the left side and scrambling five yards to the end zone. Hundley had followed up his team’s 15-yard penalty earlier on the drive with a 48-yard streak to the Stanford 24-yard-line.

Really good showing on the ground today for UCLA. The Bruins already have 132 yards rushing. Franklin has 80 on the day, and is the new single-season record holder for rushing yards.

UCLA 7, Stanford 7 — 6:07 first quarter: Kevin Hogan absolutely embarrassed the Bruins defense on a fake handoff, turning around to walk two yards into the end zone. No one was within even 10 yards of the Stanford quarterback on that naked bootleg. Great playcall by David Shaw there.

The Cardinal came up big twice on that 11-play, 69-yard drive. Kevin Hogan rushed 13 yards to convert a third down around midfield, and Stepfan Taylor turned a little toss into a 32-yard gain. That gave Stanford first-and-goal on the 2-yard-line.

UCLA 7, Stanford 0 – 11:35 first quarter: The Bruins get on the board early with 51-yard run up the middle by Johnathan Franklin. The tailback has now broken Maurice Jones-Drew’s record in career all-purpose yards (4,688).

UCLA lucked out a bit earlier on this drive when Trent Murphy nailed Brett Hundley from the weakside to force a fumble, but the play was called back had been blown dead due to referee confusion as to whether it should have been first or second down for the Bruins. That drive went 85 yards for 8 plays for the Bruins, including four first downs.

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UCLA vs. Stanford: Three potential rematch differences

All week long, coaches on both sides have been talking about how little last week will affect the Pac-12 Championship. Both expect the other team to come out with their best shot, and both expect to add tweaks to their own playbooks — though neither went into detail for obvious reasons. No one thought the short week would make a difference, given that whatever affected one team would likely affect the other.

In the midst of all that coach-speak, what exactly will change? Here are three examples:

Workhorse: Johnathan Franklin has yet to take more than 30 carries this year — something that may change against Stanford Friday night. Jim Mora said that the tailback, who mustered just 65 yards last week, will be a key part of the gameplan again in the Cardinal encore. This isn’t the most revelatory news, but Mora has been careful to save Franklin’s legs for late-game situations. He won’t be as wary of that tomorrow.

“We’ve got a long break after this one,” he said, smiling. “We’re going to ride that horse a little bit.”

If so, that will lessen the team’s need to rely on either Jordon James or Steven Manfro for carries.

Also key will be for the Bruins to keep the game close so that they can actually use Franklin extensively late in the game. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone mentioned after last Saturday’s loss that the team had trouble staying on schedule in terms of downs — meaning they were often faced with more than 10 yards to go. If Franklin can churn out a good rhythm all game, that will help keep UCLA on pace.

On the other side of the field, David Shaw is expecting that the Bruins will “do everything” better than they did a week ago.

“They were on a clip where they won five straight,” Shaw said. “That team didn’t go away. They didn’t disappear last week. They missed some things. They had some chances that went our way.”

In particular, Shaw pointed out Franklin, Brett Hundley, Joseph Fauria and Anthony Barr as the most difficult Bruins for him to gameplan against.

The replacements: Mora said kick return duties have been decided, but wouldn’t specify who exactly He gave only this list of players who might appear: Devin Fuller, Roosevelt Davis, Shaq Evans, Randall Goforth, Kenny Walker.

Simon Goines, Ellis McCarthy and Manfro are also recent examples of players who have been banged up recently, but Mora didn’t rule anyone out.

“We’ve got a couple of guys that are nicked up,” Mora said. “This game is pretty darn important. … There’s not a whole lot that’s gonna keep them off the field.”

Punter Ben Rhyne is filling in for Stanford senior Daniel Zychlinski, who was knocked out of the game by a thundering hit from Anthony Barr last week. Zychlinski’s shoulder is still injured, so Rhyne will take his place after kicking three punts against the Bruins — none of which landed inside the 20. Shaw said he was confident in his backup. (Unspoken was that he was still the backup for a reason.)

“For him, it’s just doing it when it counts,” Shaw said.

In what could be a close, grinding game, even one good roll could make a difference.

Rain game: UCLA has played just once in the rain this season, and it beat USC then. The weather will certainly be wet tomorrow, but the field is being covered with tarp all night and tomorrow morning. Traditional wisdom has it that, if the game does get sloppy, Stanford’s power run game would likely benefit more than UCLA’s up-tempo offense.

“The rain doesn’t really affect our style very much at all,” Shaw said. “We’re going to run the ball.”

“You could look at it two ways,” Mora said. “They’re kind of a physical, pound-it-, grind-it-out team. On the one hand, you can say that might be an advantage.

“But I’ve also been in games where a team that spreads it out a little more, gets playmakers in the open field and creates those one-on-one matchups sometimes has the advantage. If you make a guy miss on a slippery field, you’ve got some ground you can gain.”

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Extra numbers from UCLA-CSUN

Some tidbits from the Bruins’ 82-56 win over the Matadors:

— Larry Drew II had a career-high 13 assists to just two turnovers. His previous high was 12 against James Madison this year.

“He’s not focused on scoring. … He’s a playmaker,” said sophomore shooting guard Norman Powell. “We count on him to pressure the ball on defense, get on the break, find the open man.”

— Kyle Anderson had his best offensive night of the year, scoring a career-high 15 points. Like he does on most nights, the point forward filled up the stat sheet with seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. His shot was still iffy coming out of high school though, and that’s showed so far. Still a small sample size through seven games, but he’s 34 percent from the field and 50 percent from the line. The latter number is particularly atrocious, especially considering that he has taken more free throw attempts (26) than anyone on the team except Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams.

— Against CSUN, the Bruins had an 8-4 edge in fast break points and a 24-16 edge in points of turnovers. “Every time we were in transition we made good plays,” Muhammad said. “Guys like me, and Norman and even Trav are really athletic.”

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UCLA 82, CSUN 56: A post-Smith world

LOS ANGELES — In beating Cal State Northridge 82-56, UCLA finally played the way it was supposed to against the Big West. The Bruins still had sloppy moments on both ends of the court, but after recent debacles against Cal Poly and UC Irvine, the Wednesday night victory appeared to be a long stride forward.

But the news everyone wanted to discuss was the departure of Josh Smith, the second player to leave the program in four days. (Tyler Lamb announced his intent to transfer on Sunday.) Ironically, Smith was plastered all over the cover of the game program.

UCLA now has just eight scholarship players on its roster. And with Tony Parker’s sprained ankle, they may even have just seven available against San Diego State on Saturday.

Program gone wrong? Quote of the night, courtesy of Shabazz Muhammad: “I think Ben is the perfect guy for us.”

The players, predictably enough, tried to dismiss any talk of bad locker room chemistry. Travis Wear said that the guys all like each other and hang out together. Norman Powell said that UCLA will continue to be a top destination for recruits.

But it’s hard to argue against the recent exodus, all since 2008: Chace Stanback (UNLV), Drew Gordon (New Mexico), Mike Moser (UNLV), Matt Carlino (BYU), J’Mison Morgan (Baylor), Brendan Lane (Pepperdine), De’End Parker (USF), Anthony Stover, Reeves Nelson. Some were dismissals, but the sheer number is still stunning.

At this point, the Bruins have effectively cleared the roster of anyone involved with the program during the time documented by Sports Illustrated. The main holdover? Ben Howland.

Shed weight: It’s easy to make jokes about how much thinner the Bruins are in the frontcourt without Josh Smith. Travis Wear even made a few puns in the postgame press conference, although those could have very well been unintentional.

Smith hasn’t contributed much on the court, his numbers declining each year since his All-Pac-10 Freshman introduction that ended with a third-round NCAA loss to Florida. His 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game are hardly irreplaceable. (His career, both the good and the bad, are summed up well in this airballed layup. Skilled enough to take the ball upcourt, too heavy to finish.)

But just who exactly will replace them? The obvious candidate is Tony Parker, but he was bothered by back spasms last week and sprained his ankle during Wednesday’s warm-ups. He ended the game with a boot on his left foot, playing just one minute. Howland said the trainer didn’t believe the injury to be serious.

With no true big men available, UCLA was able to run a relatively effective up-tempo offense for the first time this season. Playing CSUN helped, of course, but there still were moments like Muhammad shaking a defender to go up for a dunk. Or a wild sequence that saw Norman Powell tipping the ball away at halfcourt, Jordan Adams diving to the ground to grab it before flipping it to Larry Drew, and Drew then swinging an alley-oop pass up to Powell.

Zone defense: Howland confirmed that the team will indeed play more zone defense, although it will not completely abandon man-to-man. Nearly every player looked more capable in the zone, but Kyle Anderson stood out in particular. His utilized his length well and didn’t have to fight through screens. The result was three steals and two blocks — all in the first half.

The caveat is that Cal State Northridge was having an absolutely atrocious shooting night. The Matadors front-rimmed shots from all over the court, from uncontested 3-pointers to running floaters. Few teams will be so kind as to convert just 32.9 percent of their shots.

Starting lineup: Ben Howland said he put both Kyle Anderson and Larry Drew in the starting lineup because he expected more pressure and wanted both his ballhandlers on the court. He then continued to emphasize that the starting five doesn’t matter that much because everyone will get minutes. (This is especially true now that Josh Smith and Tyler Lamb are both gone.) Jordan Adams also started for the first time, but didn’t see an uptick in looks: 8 points on 3/5 shooting.

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