As the Bruins look to bounce back from a massive loss in Eugene, they will have to stop their resurgent opponents from the North this weekend.
Do not. 12 UCLA football (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) will take on Stanford (3-4, 1-4 Pac-12) Saturday in the Rose Bowl. The Bruins are coming off their first loss since Oct. 30, 2021, while the Cardinals have back-to-back victories over Notre Dame and Arizona State. Regardless, UCLA came into the game with a 6.5-point favorite.
All the Bruins are picking who will win, what the score will be and how the game will play, courtesy of Executive Editor Sam Connon and Contributing Writer Benjamin Royer.
Sam Connon, Executive Editor
Prediction: UCLA 38 , Stanford 20
Not long ago, people had to abandon objectivity and deeper analysis when predicting the final outcome of the UCLA-Stanford competition.
Those days are over, though, and the Cardinals’ 11-game winning streak in the matchup series feels like a distant memory. The Bruins turned things around under Chip Kelly, taking two of their last three games, and could once again preview this competitive matchup with facts and logic.
Just two weeks ago, UCLA’s nine-to-2021 winning streak overlapped with Stanford’s 11-game losing streak against FBS teams dating back to 2021. Aside from the occasional four-game winning streak to end a shaky and shortened 2020 season affected by COVID — they won those four games for a combined 10 points — the Cardinals are 7-23 since Week 2 of 2019 . Back to back games. The Cardinals have been on a downward trend for most of four seasons and have won a spiraling Notre Dame team with a first-year head coach and an Arizona State ball with an interim head coach. Team, this shouldn’t erase that.
UCLA is currently far beyond these two programs, and they present a very tough matchup for Stanford.
Prior to their last two wins, they had each allowed 14 points, and the Cardinals had given up 40-plus points to three of the four FBS teams they played in. The Bruins are averaging 39.9 points per game, and that comes after Oregon State held them to a season-low 30 last week.
Stanford is allowing 187.6 yards per game and 5.2 yards per push, setting running back Zach Charbonnet ready for another big game. Before last week’s loss to Eugene, UCLA was 11-0 when Chabonnet went for 100 yards on the ground, so history shows that when he succeeds on the ground, the team wins .
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And that doesn’t even include what quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson can do, considering his late-game heroics against the Cardinals in 2021, It’s ironic. Stanford won their last two games by 16 and 15 points, and there’s no way they can do it again and hope to win against Charbonnet and Thompson-Robinson.
At times it might be wrong to attribute a game to broad stats and two key players, but all of this is so good for UCLA that it would be a waste of time to dig into it.
Benjamin Royer, Contributing Writer
Prediction: UCLA 45, Stanford 27
Tanner McKee may be one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country and is a major prospect in the NFL, but he was Stanford’s remote on Saturday night Threats all of UCLA.
The Bears will recover from a Week 8 loss in Eugene and thrive on a mediocre Cardinals defense. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson will also re-enter the Heisman Trophy conversation.
The Rose Bowl has been a safe place for blues and golds in 2022, and UCLA has the potential to stay consistent and go undefeated at home all season.
However, Oregon State’s way of exposing the Bears’ middle school won’t go unnoticed by Stanford coach David Shaw and the Cardinals. Shaw will try to expose UCLA’s defensive structure and shock the crowd.
Oregon State can win with real talent, and when comparing the Bruins to the Cardinals, talent will be on UCLA’s side.
Compared to the frustrating show, Coach Chip Kelly and the Bruins should be able to improve the score with relative ease. Either way, UCLA needs a win to reach the College Football Playoffs, the Pac-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl at the end of the year.
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