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
Radio: AM 1150
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.
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.