Sunday, October 2, 2011
Grades: Stanford 45, UCLA 19
By Peter Yoon
Richard Brehaut was solid for the most part with 202 yards and two touchdowns. He was able to spread the ball around, too, completing passes to eight different receivers. His final line of 18 for 33 isn't all that impressive, but he missed on his last seven attempts when the Bruins were in desperation time. Joe Fauria had two touchdown receptions and Nelson Rosario found holes in the defense and had a season-best eight catches.
Johnathan Franklin was able to break a couple of big plays and UCLA finished with 141 yards on the ground -- almost three times as many as any other Stanford opponent this season -- but the inability to go four yards in four plays on the opening drive set a grim precedent for UCLA's running game. Derrick Coleman, a 100-yard rusher twice this season, had only four yards in four carries.
IN THE TRENCHES
The offensive line deserves part of the blame for the first-drive, goal-line failure as well as not protecting Brehaut, who was hurried all night and lost a fumble under heavy pressure. The defensive line continually got pushed around by Stanford and failed to register a sack for the third consecutive game. UCLA also had only one tackle for a loss.
The Bruins allowed 202 yards rushing and 442 total yards -- the third time this season they have given up at least that many of each. Stanford converted 10 of 14 third-down conversions, continuing a season-long problem for UCLA on third down. Stanford was six of six in red zone chances and UCLA did not force a turnover.
Jeff Locke had another solid punting game with a 46-yard average, but his kicking woes continued with two missed extra points. Taylor Embree's fumble on a punt return was a major momentum switch. Josh Smith was solid on kick returns, but Locke got only one kickoff into the end zone. He tried a squib kick and Ty Montgomery returned it 38 yards.
The offensive game plan was well-intentioned and worked for the most part as UCLA was able to move the ball, especially early in the game, but running four straight plays up the middle from the four yard line probably wasn't a good idea. Defensively, the Bruins seemed to be in the right places most of the time, but couldn't make the plays.