VIDEO: UCLA coach Jim Mora previews Bruins’ trip to Stanford

UCLA head coach Jim Mora talked to the media for the last time before the Bruins’ 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Stanford on Thursday. Here’s what he covered.

— On whether or not Stanford represents a significant hurdle for the team: “I think you make a mistake if you look at it like that. I think you have to look at it like one game. That’s always been our approach. … Once you start making one game more important than the other, you open yourself up to inconsistency.”

— On USC firing Steve Sarkisian yesterday: “He’s a friend of mine. Certainly, my heart goes out to him. I wish the best for him. I care about him.” Continue reading

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VIDEO: Caleb Benenoch says UCLA OL still fights for respect

UCLA right tackle Caleb Benenoch talked about what the Bruins need to do against Stanford on Thursday, as well as the offensive line’s mindset five games into the season.

“We bear the brunt of the blame for a lot of things,” the junior said. “(Even) before I got here, the offensive line has kind of been the whipping boy. We have a chip on our shoulder, still. … We have to fight to earn the respect that we want, every single week. From the beginning of the season to now, nothing’s changed.”

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First look: No. 18 UCLA at No. 15 Stanford

UCLA's 23-20 win over Stanford in 2008 remains its most recent victory against the Cardinal. The Bruins have since lost seven straight. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA’s 23-20 win over Stanford in 2008 remains its most recent victory against the Cardinal. The Bruins have since lost seven straight. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

No. 18 UCLA Bruins (4-1, 1-1) at No. 15 Stanford Cardinal (4-1, 3-0)
Kickoff:
Thursday, Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., Stanford Stadium
TV: ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, Kaylee Hartung)
Radio: AM 570 (Bill Roth, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Scouting report: Stanford isn’t quite as stingy as it was on defense a year ago, falling from No. 2 in the country in yards allowed per play (4.21) to No. 32 (4.78). However, it has improved its offense dramatically, going from 5.89 yards per play to 6.72. That’s vaulted the Cardinal from 50th in the FBS to 15th. … Stanford is scoring touchdowns on 66.7 percent of red-zone trips, its highest mark since 2011. That was the last year the Cardinal had Andrew Luck, and they ranked fourth nationally at 76.8 percent. They averaged 57.5 percent from 2012-14. … Since giving up 284 rushing yards to UCLA in the 2012 Pac-12 Championship, Stanford has allowed 200 rushing yards to only one Pac-12 opponent in 22 games. The Bruins averaged 264 rushing yards through their last three games in September this year before mustering just 62 against Arizona State.

Series history: UCLA leads the all-time series, 45-38-3, but Stanford is in the midst of the longest streak for either team with seven wins. The Bruins’ last win was 23-20 win at the Rose Bowl in 2008, one in which Kevin Craft took seven sacks but threw a go-ahead touchdown to Cory Harkey with 10 seconds left.

Key players:

QB Kevin Hogan, RSr., 6-4, 218 — 81/120, 1,155 yards, 9 TD, 2 INT
— After hovering between 145.8 and 151.5 in passing efficiency through his first three seasons, Hogan is at a career-high 169.8 this fall despite spraining his ankle last month. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: FCC approval of AT&T—DirecTV merger could help Pac-12 Networks

» The FCC announced on Friday that it has approved AT&T’s takeover of DirecTV, a move that could clear the way for the Pac-12 Networks to appear on the satellite provider. The breakdown in negotiations between DirecTV and the Pac-12 has been arguably the biggest blemish on the resume of commissioner Larry Scott.

Bay Area News Group columnist Jon Wilner examined the issue earlier this week.

» Each Division I school will receive $18.9 million from the NCAA to fund cost-of-attendance-based scholarships and other projects.

» USC’s Adoree’ Jackson wants to win the Heisman and an Olympic gold medal.

» Oregonian columnist John Canzano no longer believes in Dana Altman — and according to emails he obtained, the Oregon administration may not either. Continue reading

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