The Bruins watched their Pac-12 title hopes dwindle away as they fall to a 9-3 record after a 31-10 loss to the unranked Cardinal. After a hot start, UCLA seemed incapable of preventing the upset and allowed Stanford to improve to 7-5 on the season.
After forcing a quick three and out and driving 64 yards down the field for the first touchdown of the game, UCLA looked poised to break the Cardinal’s seven game win streak in the series between the two schools. On the very next drive, however, Stanford marched 75 yards to tie the game and forced their own three and out on the next Bruins drive. Brett Hundley managed to get his team in range for a 42 yard Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal early in the second quarter to take the lead.
That kick would mark the last points UCLA would manage to put on the board.
Stanford tacked on 14 more points before the half wound to a close and another touchdown on their first drive in the second half after stuffing UCLA opening drive at the 40. Brett Hundley, who was 0-3 against Stanford coming into the game, was sacked four times and had to sit out a play late into the third quarter. To make matters worse, his replacement, Jerry Neuheisel, threw a pick which would result in a Stanford field goal on his very first attempt. Hundley would not fare much better after returning in the fourth quarter, tossing incompletions on seven of his last ten attempts before leaving the game with a hand injury in the fourth.
To their credit, Stanford played in a manner which illustrated a skill level belied by their record. Their five losses came as a result of close contests against USC, Notre Dame and Utah and two losses against Oregon and ASU, the cream of the crop in the Pac-12. Bruins linebacker Myles Jack had even suggested that his team was aiming to perform at the level of Stanford and Oregon in their prime, though they certainly came up short in this case.
Stanford’s Kevin Hogan split the score with running back Remound Wright, each putting up 14 points for the Cardinal. Hogan had 234 yards on 16 of 19 pass attempts while Remound averaged 4.3 yards on 15 hard-fought carries for 64 yards.
UCLA’s lone bright spot was Paul Perkins who rushed for 116 yards on 17 carries.
Neither team has much more than a bowl game to play for, but Stanford will undoubtedly feel more confident as it wraps up what had been a mostly disappointing season. UCLA will have some reevaluating to do after being deemed the wild card playoff candidate just a week before.