UCLA vs. Stanford: TV info, betting odds, expert predictions
The 12th-ranked UCLA Bruins (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) are still in the mix for the Pac-12 championship game despite last week’s 45-30 loss at Oregon.
But it has to make sure the disappointment of that loss — what was UCLA’s first of the year — doesn’t bleed into the team’s play on Saturday against Stanford.
“You play 12 games, you only get 12 opportunities, and you can’t let one game equal two games,” he said. “What I mean by that is if you get beat once, you can’t let that team beat you again. I think sometimes your attitude is feeling sorry for yourself, but we don’t get that around here.”
Stanford (3-4, 1-4 Pac-12) comes to town winners of back-to-back games after dropping 11 straight against FBS competition. Last week’s 15-14 win over Arizona State provided some momentum for the Cardinal, but it also featured the first time since 1980 that Stanford won a football game without scoring a single touchdown.
Extend it back to Stanford’s win over Notre Dame, and you have two victories that have also featured seven straight quarters without an offensive touchdown.
The defense has found some footing after several weeks as a turnstile. But against UCLA, Stanford won’t be able to get away with sluggishness on offense.
UCLA ranks 13th nationally in scoring offense, averaging 39.9 points a game. Last week’s 15-point loss to Oregon was a bit misleading in the sense that UCLA’s offense wasn’t really slowed either. Chalk the two-score margin up to the Ducks’ gameplan and successful onside kick in the second quarter. The Bruins scored points on six of their seven drives.
Expect a ton of Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee. Stanford has lost each of its top two running backs — EJ Smith earlier, and Casey Filkins this past week — to season-ending injuries. Leading receiver Michael Wilson is not expected to play either.
Here’s everything you need to know for the game.
TV info and kickoff time
Kickoff time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV Network: ESPN; fans can also watch the game live on WatchESPN with a cable or satellite provider login
Location: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena
Line: UCLA -16.5
Moneyline: UCLA -720, Stanford +500
ESPN’s FPI gives UCLA a 78% chance of beating Stanford.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ is calling for a 41-22 UCLA win.
Bruin Report Online’s David Woods picked UCLA to win 45-17:
UCLA should be able to treat Stanford more or less like Bowling Green or Colorado. Stanford isn’t quite as bad as either of those, but the Cardinal is not significantly better either. The Bruins also present matchup challenges for the Cardinal, with a dominant running back who should take advantage of this very bad run defense, and an edge rush that should be able to press the pocket and cause McKee some issues.
The Stanford Daily’s Pablo Noyola picked UCLA to win 38-20:
Stanford’s defense has turned the corner these past few weeks, but the X’s and O’s are not in the Cardinal’s favor. As we know, the Stanford defense has deficiencies, and UCLA is the sort of offense that really demands the defense be strong everywhere. Saturday could very well turn into a game of whack-a-mole, where the Cardinal sell out to stop one element of the Bruins’ offense only to be burned elsewhere. Add in the Cardinal’s recent inability to find the endzone on offense, and Stanford’s status as a three-score underdog at the Rose Bowl is warranted.
The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner picked UCLA to win and cover the spread:
How will the Bruins respond following a sound beating (at Oregon) in their biggest game in years? Letdowns are less likely when you possess a first-rate running game, and UCLA should have no trouble moving the ball against an improved-but-still-wobbly Cardinal defense. Stanford scored 31 points combined in its previous two games and somehow won both (Notre Dame and ASU). It will need more than that to stay within range of the Bruins deep into the fourth quarter.