UCLA falls to No. 17 in Associated Press poll

A 42-14 loss at Oregon knocked UCLA down five spots in the latest Associated Press poll, the Bruins settling in at No. 17. (They fell to No. 19 in the USA Today coaches poll.) The Ducks stayed at No. 2 and held on to three of 60 first-place votes.

Stanford is one spot out of the top five after a gritty 20-12 win at Oregon State. Arizona State rejoined the rankings following its bye week.

The full AP poll after the jump: Continue reading

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Anthony Jefferson recalls Kodi Whitfield’s 30-yard touchdown

Kodi Whitfield’s 30-yard touchdown yesterday didn’t just give Stanford a 10-3 lead in the third quarter. The one-handed grab in double coverage locked down the top spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10, and established a strong case as the catch of the year.

“It was a phenomenal catch,” Cardinal linebacker Trent Murphy said. “Once I saw it up in the air, I started jogging out for the PAT because I knew he was coming down with it. We trust those guys to make those plays.”

UCLA safety Anthony Jefferson saw the play differently. Continue reading

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UCLA falls to No. 12 in Associated Press poll

A 24-10 loss at Stanford dropped UCLA just outside the national top 10. The Bruins are ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press poll, and No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

The first BCS rankings, to be released tonight, will factor in the latter.

Stanford moved up to eighth in both polls after spoiling UCLA’s perfect record, becoming the highest-ranked one-loss team in the country. Undefeated Oregon held steady at No. 2 after cruising to a 62-38 win over Washington State.

The Bruins’ blemished record did little to dissuade ESPN College GameDay, which will travel to Eugene for Saturday’s 4 p.m. clash between UCLA and Oregon. Continue reading

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Stanford hands UCLA first loss in 24-10 decision

STANFORD, Calif. — David Shaw trusted his defense, and it rewarded him.

The Stanford head coach stuck to his conservative playbook on the way to a 24-10 win at home, handing No. 9 UCLA its first loss of the season and perhaps dashing the Bruins’ BCS bowl hopes.

Cardinal safety Jordan Richards picked off quarterback Brett Hundley twice, with his second coming with just 2:40 left on the game clock. Stanford ran the ball five straight times, scoring 58 seconds later on tailback Tyler Gaffney’s four-yard score — his second touchdown of the game. Continue reading

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What to watch: No. 9 UCLA at No. 13 Stanford

UCLA needs a win over Stanford to firmly seize a spot on the national stage. Can the Bruins pull it off?

UCLA offense vs. Stanford defense:

Stanford’s defense isn’t quite what it was used to be, giving up 22.2 points per game after allowing 18.8 over the past three seasons.

On its way to three straight BCS bowls, the Cardinal finished either first or second in the conference in scoring defense, and No. 9 nationally during the 2010 campaign. This year, the team is fifth in the Pac-12. However, much of that is due to the rest of the conference ticking up: Four teams in the league are holding opponents to below 20.0 points per game. Only four Pac-12 teams had done the same in the previous four years combined. Continue reading

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