Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/20/12
  No. 8 Stanford at No. 17 UCLA Saturday, 6:30 PM, FOX Line: Stanford -2 UCLA, in the first season under Jim L. Mora, have defended their Pac-12 South title. Unlike last season's team that was coached by the now fired Rick Neuheisel, this team has earned their way into the game and have a chance to host the game this season. UCLA beat archrival USC last week to win the division. Stanford has assumed control of the Pac-12 North after physically dominating Oregon last week in Eugene. The Cardinal can win their division and host the title game if they beat UCLA. If Stanford loses but Oregon State wins, then they will return to the Rose Bowl for a second straight week on November 30 for the rematch with a BCS berth on the line. For Stanford to win: Maintain balance. On offense last week, Stanford turned the ball over three times. If they hadn't coughed it up, they might have beaten Oregon by much more than three points and won the game in regulation. 211 yards passing and 200 yards rushing was almost perfect distriubtion for the offense. It meant that Stanford moved the ball not with ease, but well enough to play keepaway from Oregon. Stanford had a time of possession of 37:05 versus 22:55 for Oregon. Stay balanced and keep quarterback Kevin Hogan out of difficult situations and the chance to win increases. For UCLA to win: Create havoc. A blocked punt and three turnovers aided the Bruins in their quest to control the football monopoly in Los Angeles. Stanford is something of a mirror image of the Bruins, as far as being physical teams that want to run the ball with a senior feature back and utilizing their freshman quarterback in controlled circumstances. The Bruins will need to create more havoc and turnovers to try and get the ball and control of the game away from the Cardinal. Key Player, Stanford: Stepfan Taylor, running back. Taylor didn't score last week against Oregon. He didn't have a run longer than 18 yards. But the senior running back did yeoman's work last week in Eugene, toting the rock 33 times for 161 yards last week, grinding out tough yards and helping to keep the offense on schedule and keeping the ball away from the explosive Oregon offense. UCLA does give up about 147 yards per game on the ground, so Taylor has a chance to have a big game. Key Player, UCLA: Johnathan Franklin, running back. While UCLA's defense has been towards the middle of the pack in rush defense, the Stanford defense holding Oregon down last week shouldn't have been that big of a surprise. Stanford is second in the country in rush defense, allowing only 71 yards per game on the ground. Franklin, a senior, is going to have to come up large and be leaned on heavily to provide a strong first punch for the Bruins. He carried the ball 29 times for 171 yards and two scores in the beating of USC. He might need to replicate that line (or come close) to help the Bruins win home field for the Pac-12 title game. Key Stat: 9. If Jim Mora can win one of the next three games that the Bruins will play, he will break the record for victories for a first year coach at UCLA. He is currently tied for that record with Terry Donahue, who went 9-2-1 in his first season in 1976.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Fabio Fognini stuns Rafael Nadal in epic match

Report: Patrick Kane’s rape case will soon be heard by grand jury

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends


Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

Tom Brady Sr. goes on epic radio rant to defend son

The Angels' fall from grace

Bret Bielema wants Arkansas to play Miami, USC in future

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker