UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal (-4.5, 53)
Unbeaten UCLA, ranked 10th nationally, has a chance to get itself into the national championship picture over the next two Saturdays but the visiting Bruins first must defeat No. 13 Stanford on Saturday. The Cardinal are in a must-win situation themselves after falling to Utah last week and can’t afford to drop two games in the loss column behind Oregon in the Pac-12 North. UCLA leads the Pac-12 South and visits the Ducks on Oct. 26.
Stanford defeated UCLA twice last season in a seven-day span – winning 35-17 at the Rose Bowl in the regular season before posting a 27-24 home win in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Bruins are off to their first 5-0 start since winning the first eight games of the 2005 season. Cardinal coach David Shaw doesn't want the Utah loss – one that snapped the program’s 13-game winning streak – to be viewed as a season-changing defeat. “We’re still in a battle for our [division] to try to get to the conference championship game,” Shaw said.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2.
LINE: Stanford opened as a 6.5-point fave and is now -4.5. The total opened at 54 and is down to 53.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-70s with clear skies over Stanford Stadium.
ABOUT UCLA (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12): Sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley is thriving with 1,469 yards and 12 touchdowns and his 410-yard effort in last week’s victory over California was the third-highest output in school history behind Cade McNown (513 in 1998) and Drew Olson (510 in 2005). Running back Jordon James (463 yards, five touchdowns) is averaging 6.3 yards per carry for an offense averaging 45.8 points and 547 yards per game. The Bruins are allowing 18.2 points per game with outside linebacker Anthony Barr racking up 10 tackles for loss (including four sacks) and forcing three fumbles while defensive end Keenan Graham has recorded a team-high five sacks.
ABOUT STANFORD (5-1, 3-1 Pac-12): The loss to Utah marked the initial defeat in 11 career starts for quarterback Kevin Hogan, who has passed for 1,178 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Tyler Gaffney (570 yards, seven touchdowns) has proven that giving up minor-league baseball to return to football was a good move, and Ty Montgomery (31 receptions, 514 yards) continues to be a force as both a receiver and returner – leading the nation with a 37.3 kickoff-return average. Defensive leader Shane Skov – an inside linebacker – has six tackles for loss among his team-high 52 stops and outside linebacker Trent Murphy leads the team with eight tackles for loss and five sacks.
* Bruins are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Bruins are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Over is 9-2 in Cardinal last 11 games following a S.U. loss.
* Cardinal are 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 conference games.
1. The Bruins lead the series 45-36-3, but have lost the last five meetings.
2. UCLA is outscoring its opponents 71-0 in the third quarter.
3. Stanford has nine three-and-out drives in its last two games after having a total of nine over its four contests.