Stanford vs. UCLA fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 24
Game Time: 3:00 ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Stanford (6-4) vs. UCLA (3-8) Game Preview
One Reason Why Stanford Will Win
To take a nightmare situation and be crass about it, Stanford should be rested after last week’s game against Cal was postponed. Meanwhile, UCLA – while it’ll certainly care and try – got its high-point win by taking out USC.
The Bruin defense is about to get carved up.
For all of the problems and issues against the run this season, the UCLA secondary hasn’t exactly been a prize, either. It’s giving up well over 200 yards without a problem, and last week it got hit for 337 yards by a punchless USC air attack.
KJ Costello might make a few mistakes – more on that in a moment – but he’ll also push the ball deep, giving his big targets plenty of chances to make plays. Taking chances might prove costly once in a while, but he’s also on a tear, connecting on 323 yards or more in four of his last five games.
The Bruin defense is about to be stretched out, but …
One Reason Why UCLA Will Win
The secondary is able to make up for a slew of issues with big picks, coming up with nine of the ten interceptions on the year in the last seven games.
And Stanford will be more than happy to help add to that.
Costello might be efficient and he might be great at bombing away, but he’ll also give away interceptions with ten on the year. He turned it over twice in the loss to Utah, and gave it up three times at Washington. He’ll have his moments, but UCLA stays in this if the secondary can win a few battles.
On the other side, the Bruins need to keep feeding Joshua Kelley. The junior took over the ground game early on this season and has been a 100-yard machine ever since. And then came last week – 40 carries for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
UCLA will never be about ball control under Chip Kelly, but with Kelley being able to control things on the ground, and Wilton Speight not having too much pressure on his shoulders to balance things out, the Bruin offense will turn it loose in the season finale.
What’s Going To Happen
Let’s have some fun.
It’ll be an up-and-down shootout with both passing games coming up with big moments, but UCLA will have a running game, and Stanford will …
Have a running game.
It just hasn’t worked all year. The running game hasn’t been able to dominate like it was supposed to, Bryce Love only has 580 yards, and the Cardinal O has been about Costello moving the chains. But Stanford found something against Oregon State – who doesn’t? – with 244 yards on the ground two weeks ago.
USC couldn’t run a lick last week, but before that, everyone else ran wild over the previous month.
Stanford will hit the 200-yard mark on the ground to pull out a fun win before going to deal with the Big Game.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Stanford 38, UCLA 27
Line: Stanford -7, o/u: 59
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 2.5
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