UCLA practice links: Bruins start preparing for Stanford, McCaffrey

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

It’s Stanford week, friends. It’s one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – game of the season for the Bruins considering the Cardinal’s recent reign over the conference and UCLA’s offseason pledge to become a more physical team. If the Bruins are to succeed in this game, then they’ll have to shut down running back Christian McCaffrey.

Head coach Jim Mora said Monday “it’s not even arguable that (McCaffrey is) the top player in college football.”

More on UCLA’s preparation for the Stanford superstar.

Other links:

Note:

Keep your options open for UCLA’s home game against Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 1. The kickoff time was pushed to a six-day selection by the Pac-12 and its TV partners and is still up in the air. It can be 5:30 p.m. on FOX, 6:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks or 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. Oregon-Washington State and USC-Arizona State are the other Pac-12 games in contention for those time slots. FOX picks its game first, followed by ESPN. The Pac-12 Networks get the last game.

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First look: Stanford at UCLA

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) stiff-arms UCLA linebacker Kenny Young (42) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) stiff-arms UCLA linebacker Kenny Young (42) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

UCLA Bruins (2-1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (2-0)
Kickoff: Saturday, 5 p.m. PT, Rose Bowl
TV: ABC
Radio: AM 570

Scouting report: Stanford is still Stanford, the bully on the Pac-12 block. The Cardinal are coming off a methodical dismantling of USC in which Christian McCaffrey had 165 rushing yards, 73 receiving yards and two touchdowns (one receiving, one rushing). The running back leads the conference in rushing (149 yards per game) and all-purpose yards (235.0 yards per game). Stanford has wins over Kansas State and USC this season. Through two games, the Cardinal have been penalized only seven times for 61 yards. They are the least penalized team in the conference in yards per game. The Bruins rank fifth in the Pac-12 with 46.7 penalty yards per game. Continue reading

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UCLA matchup with Stanford set for national, primetime broadcast

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

UCLA’s conference opener against Stanford on Sept. 24 will be broadcast to a national audience in primetime. The game will kick off at the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. PT with ABC on the TV broadcast.

Stanford and UCLA were picked to win the Pac-12 North and South, respectively, so the regular-season matchup could be a preview at the Pac-12 Championship Game. Stanford is 5-0 against the Bruins in Jim Mora‘s tenure.

Some links:

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By the numbers countdown to kickoff: 5 days

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Countdown the days to UCLA’s season-opener against Texas A&M with key stats facing the Bruins this year.

10 receiving touchdowns by Thomas Duarte last year, which led the team
9 returning starters on defense
8th in the Pac-12 in rushing defense last year
7 second-half turnovers for Josh Rosen last year
6 different starting combinations on the offensive line in 2015

5 STRAIGHT LOSSES TO STANFORD UNDER JIM MORA

For another season, we ask: Is this the year the Bruins vanquish the Cardinal?

Under head coach Jim Mora, UCLA has never beaten Stanford. It’s five straight losses in four years.

The Bruins are so committed to the cause that they’ve shaped themselves to specifically beat Stanford. They pledged to get bigger to stop the run. The focus on power running was geared to help the offense control the clock and help the defense get used to facing such a bruising scheme.

“It’s time to beat Stanford this year, so I’m glad we’re making the changes we’re making,” linebacker Kenny Young said. “It’s going to help us a lot.”

UCLA’s struggles against the Cardinal even predate Mora. The Bruins haven’t beaten Stanford since 2008. The eight-game losing streak is the longest losing streak UCLA has against any one conference opponent at any time. The next such streak was a seven-game slide against USC from 1999-2005. The final two USC wins of that streak were later vacated.

With Kevin Hogan gone, the door is ajar for another team to snatch the top spot in the conference, although the Cardinal were still voted the media favorites to win the league. They do after all still have Christian McCaffrey, who ran for 243 yards against the Bruins last year.

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