First look: UCLA at Stanford

Stanford running back Bryce Love (20) is chased by California defenders on a 48-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

UCLA (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) at Stanford (1-2, 0-1 Pac-12)
Saturday, Sept. 23 | 7:30 p.m. PT | Stanford Stadium
TV: ESPN
Radio: AM 1150

Scouting report

The Cardinal are in unfamiliar territory. The only other time Stanford has had a losing record in head coach David Shaw’s tenure was after losing the season opener to Northwestern in 2015, a season that still ended with a Rose Bowl victory. Now the Cardinal are coming off back-to-back losses, including a 20-17 upset by San Diego State that knocked them from the AP Poll last weekend.

Stanford has long been known as a powerful team that wins on the line of scrimmage, but Shaw admitted that USC beat the Cardinal at their own game two weeks ago. Stanford started a true freshman at left tackle against San Diego State and needed the big-play ability of running back Bryce Love to carry a struggling offense.

The defensive line is also struggling to control the line of scrimmage since losing Solomon Thomas. The Cardinal has allowed 478 rushing yards in the past two games.

Series history

UCLA has lost nine straight to Stanford since its last win in 2008. The Bruins came with 24 seconds of snapping the streak last year, but gave up an 8-yard touchdown to JJ Arcega-Whiteside in a 22-13 loss at the Rose Bowl. This if the first matchup between UCLA and Stanford in which both teams are unranked since 2009.

Here’s a graph from last year that further breaks down some of the history between the Bruins and the Cardinal during the Jim Mora era.

Players to watch
— RB Bryce Love (43 carries, 524 yards, 4 TDs)
Love has been a worthy replacement for Christian McCaffrey as the junior running back averaged 12.2 yards per carry. He scored on touchdown runs of 53 and 51 yards against San Diego State and now faces a UCLA defense that is prone to giving up big plays.

— CB Alijah Holder (8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBUs)
One-half of Stanford’s talented cornerback tandem, Holder leads the team in pass breakups and picked off USC quarterback Sam Darnold in the Cardinal’s conference opener. He plays opposite Quenton Meeks, who had 13 total tackles this year.

— DT Harrison Phillips (26 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack)
The senior has double-digit tackles in back-to-back games with 11 against USC and 10 against San Diego State. He was on the preseason watch lists for several national awards, including the Bednarik, which goes to the best defensive player.

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  • Paul

    Stanford QBs not good; stack the box & make them, not Bryce Love, beat us.

    • FightOn!

      They should listen to you more often… You look like an athlete…

    • 88 Straight

      Simply watch the last 2 game tapes for Stanford. The blueprint is readily available.

  • Ed Garrett

    shuold be a easy win

  • Coach Thom

    With our defence guided by Coach Tom, any team can beat us. Sad but true.

  • Intimidator Bruin

    Does anyone remember when Lou Spanos was the DC? Our defense was feared and our offense had more opportunities than they could handle.

    • Paul

      He also had AB, Kendricks, Zumwalt, etc.

  • UCLA Dynasty

    Based on what I saw the last two weeks I think our weaknesses play into Stanford’s weaknesses and our strengths play into Stanford’s weaknesses. In other words, even though Mora has given up on coaching, we should still win by chucking it up there 50 times and running for 40 yards. In other words, we stink less and the streak ends at 9

  • Sandy Underpants

    Is there any way we can lose to a team on a losing streak to $uc and $an Diego $t.? This is gonna be so easy I might just stay home and stay drunk this $aturday.