We don’t see this very often. Two teams who meet in the last week of the season meet the very next week in postseason play. The last time I can remember this happening was in the NFL, when the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Jets met two weeks in a row in January in 2010. The Jets ended up taking both of those matchups, and the question is, will Stanford do the same this time around? Let’s take a closer look.
How Stanford Can Win: Well answers don’t get much more simple then this. Pull the film from last week: lather, rinse, repeat. But in all seriousness, the Cardinal must continue to pound the ball with Stepfan Taylor. Taylor has been the work horse all year long, and last week was no different, with the young back registering 142 yards on 20 carries. The Cardinal also forced more big plays, blowing the game wide open in the third quarter. Stanford led by just 11 points, before Taylor made it an 18 point lead. Just 13 seconds later on the game clock, the Cardinal were in the endzone again, recovering a fumble and taking it to the house. Stanford is built to pound the rock and play solid defense, and that won’t be changing today.
How UCLA Can Win: Well based on my Stanford analysis, you can guess what UCLA needs to do. The Bruins have to make freshman quarterback Keith Hogan, who has stepped in for Josh Nunes towards the end of the season, beat you. On the offensive side of the ball, UCLA has to spread out this packed Stanford D. The Cardinal have one of the best front sevens in the nation, a group that has a few NFL prospects on it. The Bruins won five straight contests before last week,so they know what it takes to win. Lastly, they have the extra motivation from being absolutely embarrassed last year in this very same game, when Oregon whooped up on them.
Our Prediction: On paper, this game has Stanford written all over it. It was the Cardinal who denied Oregon from playing in this game. It was Stanford who provided the first tape on how to beat the once mighty Trojans of USC. But most importantly, Stanford came to LA last week to get a win, and now this week, they are back at the Farm. Stanford was undefeated at home this year, and I don’t expect that to change tonight. Look for Stepfan Taylor to have a huge, draft stock changing game tonight on the big stage, and look for Stanford to book their tickets back to LA for another date at the Rose Bowl on New Years Day.
Stanford wins the Pac-12 30-20.
Who do you think will win the matchup? Who will be the most valuable player of the game? Who would you rather see represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl? Let us know in the comments!