The first Pac-12 matchup of the season is up next for the Bruins, and it comes against a Bay Area rival whose had their number over the past decade.
WHO: UCLA vs. Stanford
DATE: Saturday, Sept. 25
TIME: 3 p.m. PT
LOCATION: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA
TV: Pac-12 Networks – Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Yogi Roth (analyst)
STREAMING: fuboTV – Get 7-day Free Trial
RADIO: AM 570, Sirius Ch. 137, XM Ch. 197, SXM App 959 – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook (sideline reporter)
SPREAD: UCLA -4 (-110), Stanford +4 (-110)*
MONEY LINE: UCLA (-172), Stanford (+152)*
OVER/UNDER: O 60.5 (-115), U 60.5 (-105)*
UCLA dropped to No. 24 in the latest AP and USA Today Coaches Polls following its loss to Fresno State, falling from No. 13 the week prior. Stanford received three points from the AP and six from the coaches, ranking No. 41 and No. 46 in each poll, respectively.
The Bruins went 2-1 in their season-opening homestand, covering the spread in the first two of such games, and have not appeared on the road yet in 2021. Last season, UCLA was 1-2 on the road but 2-1 against the spread away from the Rose Bowl.
Stanford wrapped up its 2020 season on a four-game winning streak, posting a 4-2 record overall. The team is 2-1 to start 2021, following up a season-opening neutral site loss to Kansas State in Week 1 with road wins over then-No. 13 USC and Vanderbilt.
The Cardinal are also 2-1 against the spread, and two of their three games have ended with 60 or more combined points scored. The Bruins' last two games have also hit that mark.
Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads the Pac-12 in passer rating, passing touchdowns and yards per attempt, but ranks No. 11 in completion percentage. He has just two turnovers through two games, putting him on pace for his first season with fewer than one giveaway per game.
Running back Zach Charbonnet conceded his hold on the No. 1 spot in the conference rushing yards leaderboard, falling to No. 3 with 242 after picking up just 21 yards against Fresno State. Brittain Brown narrowly outgained Charbonnet with 23 yards on the ground, moving back to No. 8 in the conference with 197 on the season, while Greg Dulcich's goose egg on the stat sheet led to Washington's Cade Otton jumping in front of him for most yards among Pac-12 tight ends.
Edge rusher Mitchell Agude leads the nation in forced fumbles with four, safety Qwuantrezz Knight leads the Bruins with 18 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss and linebacker Bo Calvert has the most sacks on the team with 2.0.
UCLA averages 39.7 points per game while allowing 25.7.
Stanford, on the other hand, averages 30.0 per game and gives up 25.0. Their point differential of 15 on the season stands in contrast to the yardage numbers though, as the Cardinal have been outgained by an average of 40 yards per game.
Quarterback Tanner McKee came in to relieve Jack West of his duties in Stanford's season opener against Kansas State, tossing the team's only touchdown of the contest. He has since taken a firm grip on the starting job, completing 71.4% of his passes for five touchdowns, zero picks and a 163.4 passer rating – third in the Pac-12 only to Thompson-Robinson and Oregon State's Chance Nolan.
Lead backs Austin Jones and Nathaniel Peat have combined for 127 scrimmage yards per game out of the backfield, but only two total touchdowns across three appearances. Receiver Brycen Tremayne leads Stanford with 13 receptions, 165 yards and three touchdowns, scoring exactly one touchdown every time out so far this season. At 6-foot-4, Tremayne is Stanford's next big pass-catching target, which have historically given UCLA some trouble, most recently in the form of JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Simi Fehoko.
The Cardinal pass rush has generated just four sacks, tying them for 98th in the country in sacks per game. The secondary has been far more disruptive, breaking up 4.25 passes per game and picking up three interceptions. Two of them have gone to Thompson-Robinson's former high school teammates, cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly, who brought one back for six against USC.
UCLA owns the all-time head-to-head series with Stanford 46-43-3, but it wasn't too long ago that the Bruins had a far more commanding lead in the rivalry. Prior to 2019, Stanford won 11 consecutive meetings between the two teams. UCLA bucked that trend in 2019 by beating Stanford on the road 34-16.
Most recently, the Cardinal bested the Bruins 48-47 in double overtime in Pasadena last year, coming back from down multiple possessions in the final minute to steal the season-ending victory.
*Odds via BetOnline