Stanford was off last week after opening the season with three wins by a combined score of 138-27 behind the prolific passing of Luck, who has completed 57-of-85 pass attempts for 786 with eight touchdowns against just one interception. Junior running back Stepfan Taylor has taken some heat off of Luck with 54 attempts for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Linebacker Chase Thomas has lived in opposing backfields, with five of his 12 tackles going for a loss, including a team-high 3.5 quarterback sacks.
The Bruins are off to an erratic 2-2 start in 2011, but got their Pac-12 schedule off on the right foot with a 27-19 win over the Oregon State Beavers last week in Corvallis. Head coach Rick Neuheisel changed quarterbacks last week, replacing Kevin Prince with Richard Brehaut, who completed 7-of-11 pass attempts for 146 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, Brehaut did not throw an interception, something Prince did three times in the Bruins' 49-20 loss to teh Texas Longhorns.
With the uncertainty and potential quick-hook at the quarterback position, and a desire to keep Andrew Luck on the sidelines, UCLA can be expected to feature their running game on Saturday night. Bruins running backs Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman had combined for 602 yards and six touchdowns over the first four games of the 2011 season.
Game date, time: 10:30pm ET, Saturday, October 1, 2011
Location: Stanford Stadium/Foster Field, Stanford, California
TV channel: Fox Sports Net
Spread: Stanford is favored by 21 points
Series history: The Bruins lead the all-time series, 45-33-3.
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Stanford blog Rule Of Tree and UCLA blog Bruins Nation. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.