UCLA knows it will have its hands full with McCaffrey

Posted September 29, 2016

What happens when the Huskies go on the road and find themselves in a tough game?

After UCLA saw their lead crawl to a single point, JJ Molson put one through the uprights for some breathing room.

Faced with a second-and-goal at the Bruins' 7, Burns hit Arcega-Whiteside once more, this time on a 7-yard touchdown pass that needed every bit of Arcega-Whiteside's 31 1/2-inch vertical on a fade pattern near the back of the end zone to give Stanford its first lead since the opening drive of the game. It marked the first touchdown of the game for the Cardinal. UCLA, which had lost eight in a row to their Pac-12 neighbors to the north, was a 3.5-point underdog "in the desert", as sports commentators wryly refer to Nevada casinos. Stanford hasn't thrown the ball much, and why should it if it has Christian McCaffrey to rely on in the run game? Now quarterback Josh Rosen and the UCLA Bruins look to pull off the upset at home in tonight's game. Safety Zach Hoffpauir has recorded a team-high 11 tackles to lead the defense, which allowed Rosen to throw for 325 yards and three touchdowns last October but could receive a boost Saturday with the anticipated return of Harrison Phillips after the nose tackle missed last week's game due to a knee injury.

The game is the Pac-12 opener for UCLA, which is 2-1. Jamabo started the first two games against Texas A&M and UNLV, while Starks did not play for undisclosed reasons. A 138-yard night looks more impressive when accompanied by a score. And both times instead of going for it he punted. Coach Clay Helton made a decision to punt on fourth-and-3 from the Utah 37-yard line on the possession before the winning drive. On fourth-and-goal, quarterback George Bollas ran it in from seven yards out and those on the over rejoiced. The penalty gave the Cardinal the ball on its own 30-yard line.

Stanford's defense has been prone to giving up some large amounts of yards this year with Kansas State earning 335 yards of total offense in week one and Southern Cal earning 353 yards against Stanford the following week with 236 of those being in the air and 117 being on the ground. He got the Bruins to midfield in the final seconds, but couldn't reach field goal range before fumbling on a sack from behind. Olorunfunmi carried the ball on the next two plays, gaining two yards each time to set up a third and six. Arizona State's DJ Calhoun scooped and scored on Cal's onside kick attempt to push the total over and seal the cover for ASU.

This is a game that has a major effect on the Pac-12 South landscape.

With that bad discussed, lets highlight some of the great things Stanford did, like letting Solomon Thomas loose.

"Sixty minutes", he screamed at what was left of the crowd. At this point, overtime was the only way those on the under would lose.

McCaffrey is now Stanford's leading rusher and receiver with 53 carries and 10 receptions for 404 total yards, so it is no secret that Ryan Burn's number one priority is going to be feed the ball to #5 and let him make big plays. The senior has just two catches for 15 yards this season. In a year with so much unpredictability, the Wildcats may finally deliver Coach Rodriguez that first win over Mora.