No. 18 UCLA used its bye week to prepare for Thursday’s road game against 16th-ranked Stanford, but the extra time couldn’t help the Bruins’ injury situation. UCLA will again be without three defensive starters when they face Stanford, which has won four in a row since its opening loss at Northwestern and boasts a dominant running attack that could wreak havoc against the Bruins.
Stanford, which is also coming off a bye, has won seven straight against UCLA and leads the Pac-12 North with a 3-0 mark. UCLA has lost defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, cornerback Fabian Moreau and linebacker Myles Jack to season-ending injuries and will be hard-pressed to slow down Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, who ranks second in the nation in all-purpose yards with 229.8 per game. Remound Wright has added seven rushing touchdowns for Stanford, which has scored 40 or more points in each of the last three games while rushing for 834 yards over that stretch. The Cardinal will look to carry that momentum into Thursday’s contest against UCLA, which had its offense slowed down for the first three quarters of a 38-23 loss to Arizona State on Oct. 3.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: Stanford opened as 5-point home favorites and have been to to -6.5. The total has been bet down from its opening number of 56.0 to sit at 54.0.
UCLA – LB J. Brown (questionable Thursday, back), OL P. Moala (questionable Thursday, hand), WR M. Johnson (out for season, knee), P A. Searl (out indefinitely, suspension).
Stanford – DE N. Lohn (questionable Thursday, undisclosed), LB N. Davis (questionable Thursday, leg), LB K. Anderson (questionable Thursday, ankle).
WEATHER REPORT: It should be partly cloudy with temperatures in the high 60’s at gametime. There will also be a very slight eight percent chance of rain and a three mile per hour wind blowing towards the southeast endzone.
ABOUT UCLA (4-1, 2-2-1 ATS, 1-4 O/U): Paul Perkins has rushed for seven touchdowns and averages 115.4 yards on the ground, but the junior was held to 63 rushing yards against Arizona State. Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen has thrown nine touchdowns against five interceptions while showing a clear preference for receivers Jordan Payton and Thomas Duarte, who have combined to catch 23 passes for 375 yards and four scores over the last two games against the Arizona schools. The injury-depleted defense has allowed 545 rushing yards in the last two contests and needs a strong showing from linebackers Kenny Young and Deon Hollins to help contain McCaffrey.
ABOUT STANFORD (4-1, 4-1 ATS, 3-2 O/U): After a rough outing against Northwestern, quarterback Kevin Hogan has bounced back to rank seventh in the NCAA in passing efficiency at 169.8 while completing 79 percent of his passes in the last three games. Stanford has scored at least 24 points in each of the past seven wins against the Bruins, and Hogan threw for 234 yards and two scores in last season’s 31-10 victory. Linebacker Blake Martinez had 13 tackles in Stanford’s 55-17 win over Arizona on Oct. 3 and leads the FBS with 12.6 tackles per game, but the defense is tied for 125th in the country in turnovers gained with three in five games.
* Under is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings.
* UCLA is 1-6 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Stanford is 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Under is 4-1 in UCLA’s last five games overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The public is almost dead even in this Pac-12 matchup, with 50.94 percent of wagers giving UCLA the slightest of edges.