No. 13 Stanford hosts No. 9 UCLA

No. 13 Stanford hosts No. 9 UCLA
October 19, 2013, 9:30 am
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UCLA last won at Stanford in 2005. (USATSI)

INSIDE THE MATCHUP

- This is the 85th time UCLA will take on Stanford. The Bruins hold a series lead, 45-36-3, but have seen the Cardinal win each of the last five. The five straight wins ties Stanford's longest in the series, and is just one back of UCLA's six-game win streak from 1963-68 for the longest in the series history.

- UCLA is 5-0 to start the season for the first time since opening 2005 at 8-0. The Bruins are second in the Pac-12 to Oregon (56.8) with 45.8 points per game, and their 229 total points through five games are their most since 1998 (233). The last time UCLA won a conference game on the road against a ranked opponent was September 29, 2001 at Oregon State (14 straight losses).

- Stanford fell on the road to an unranked conference opponent for only the second time in the last four seasons last week at Utah (September 27, 2012 at Washington). The Cardinal have allowed over 400 yards in consecutive games for the first time since October 22-29, 2011.

- Brett Hundley threw for over 400 yards for the first time in his career in last week's win over Cal, while also matching a career-high with 31 completions. Hundley (427/5209/41) is one of seven FBS players, and the only one in the Pac-12, with 400+ completions for 5000+ yards and 40+ touchdowns in his career.

- Ty Montgomery set new highs with eight receptions and 131 receiving yards in the loss at Utah. Montgomery (31/514/five) is one of three Pac-12 players with at least 30 receptions, 500 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns (Brandin Cooks, OreSt; Paul Richardson, Colo).

- The Bruins are one of only two teams in the nation with nine players with 100+ receiving yards (Washington State). The leader of the group, Shaquelle Evans, has 289 receiving yards this season and is one reception shy of his 100th at UCLA.

The last time UCLA was ranked in the top 10 was the week after its last win at Stanford.

The No. 9 Bruins will try to stay unbeaten by mimicking that 2005 team.

Doing so Saturday would mean ending the 13th-ranked Cardinal's 12-game home winning streak and handing Stanford consecutive losses for the first time in four years.

The Bruins (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) broke into the top 10 this week after Saturday's 37-10 home win over California, its loftiest ranking since reaching No. 7 in the Oct. 30, 2005, AP poll after a 30-27 win at Stanford.

Brett Hundley threw for a career-best 410 yards against the Golden Bears, the third-highest total in UCLA history.

He threw for a total of 438 yards and one score with two interceptions in games in consecutive weeks against Stanford (5-1, 3-1) last year. Both were losses, including a 27-24 defeat in the Pac-12 championship game on Nov. 30 that was the Bruins' fifth straight in the series.

"I think you have to be careful when you make it about redemption," UCLA coach Jim Mora said. "Then you start to get emotional. It has to be about us. We have goals and expectations. We want to play with emotion but not be emotional. They beat us twice last year, (including) in the Pac-12 championship game. When those things become a factor, I think you are making a mistake. Stanford is an outstanding football team."

The Cardinal's 13-game overall winning streak came to an end Saturday in a 27-21 loss at Utah. UCLA nearly suffered a similar fate in Salt Lake City nine days earlier before escaping with a 34-27 win.

"We knew we were coming into a hornets' nest here," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "UCLA came in here a week ago and barely squeaked out. We knew it would be a battle and we didn't play well enough."

The loss was quarterback Kevin Hogan's first as a starter after winning his first 10. Hogan failed to connect with wide receiver Devon Cajuste on fourth down from the Utah 6-yard line on the final drive.

Failing to gain those last 6 yards could be a small part of a bigger problem for the Cardinal, who have fallen to 11th in total offense (405.2 yards per game) in the Pac-12.

They're averaging 334.0 yards in their last two games, and rushed for a season-low 143 against Utah. Stanford hasn't lost back-to-back games since Oct. 10-17, 2009 - Andrew Luck's freshman season.

"The first word I used is perspective," Shaw said. "Let's look at where we are. Let's look at how we got here. Let's look at where we're going. That's the most important thing for me. In order to really go forward, you have to look at where you are."

The Bruins have had no such issues. They're fifth in the nation with 547.0 yards per game and seventh with 45.8 points per contest.

They ran for just 78 yards against Cal - 108 fewer than their previous season low - but Mora thought that had more to do with Cal's approach.

"They packed the box," Mora said. "But then we threw for 410 yards, so I'm proud of our offense for adjusting."

The Bruins beat Cal despite not having leading rusher Jordon James, who went down with an ankle injury against Utah. They're likely to be without him again Saturday.

"I think that it's a stretch to think that he'll play," Mora said. "Don't want to rule him out, but I think that it'd be a real stretch. He's still in a boot."

UCLA will face a Stanford defensive line dealing with injury problems as end Henry Anderson will likely miss another three games with a knee injury. Stanford has allowed more than 400 yards of offense in consecutive weeks for the first time since Oct. 22-29, 2011.

UCLA's 5-0 start ties its longest winning streak under Mora. The Bruins won five in a row last year heading into their first meeting with Stanford, then lost three straight to end the year.

The Bruins last topped that with an 8-0 start in 2005.

 

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