Stanford Cardinal stuns UCLA Bruins with upset win

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After the previous week’s epic battle with the USC Trojans, the UCLA Bruins welcomed the Stanford Cardinal to the Rose Bowl on Friday for the last home game of the season. The Bruins are a highly regarded team this year, having placed in the top ten on every major ranking system.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan evading UCLA tacklers.
Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan evading UCLA tacklers.

The Stanford Cardinal hasn’t been quite as good, losing to all of the top 20 teams it has faced this season. But this was a conference rivalry and both teams were expected to pick up their game.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan has had a good year, passing for over 2,000 yards. But UCLA’s Jared Goff has thrown passes for more than 3,400. It should have been a tougher game for the Cardinal, the Bruins have the edge in every category. But sometimes underdogs dig deep and find the will and skill to beat the better team and the underdogs in this game truly did pick up their game Friday when the two teams met in the Rose Bowl.

Whether it was a hangover from last week’s win over USC or late season fatigue, the Bruins were not as prepared for this game as Stanford.

The Bruins got on the board first with a pass from Brett Hundley to Thomas Duarte, but then Remound Wright scored on a one-yard run for Stanford. In the second quarter the Bruins were able to score a field goal, but Stanford answered with two touchdowns, passes from Kevin Hogan to Michael Rector and Devon Cajuste, that second pass to Cajuste a 37-yard strike with two defenders covering the receiver.

Stanford would score another touchdown in the third quarter and then a field goal in the fourth, for a game ending score of 31-10, in favor of the Stanford Cardinal.

Stanford runningback Remound Wright running for his touchdown.
Stanford runningback Remound Wright running for his touchdown.

After that first touchdown, UCLA was never able to establish an offensive game and Stanford controlled both sides of the ball, offense and defense for the rest of the game. Quarterback Kevin Hogan had an excellent game, completing 16 of 19 passes with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The bottom line is that UCLA was not prepared for a good team like the Stanford Cardinal and Stanford was fired up to win this one game.

We may see both teams in Bowl games in the post-season, UCLA is #8 as of now in the CFP rankings, but bowl watchers will wonder how Stanford took one from UCLA.

They played better is the answer.