October 3, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats wide receiver David Richards (4, right) is tackled by Stanford Cardinal linebacker Blake Martinez (4, left) during the first quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The Stanford Defense
As a whole, the defense is not as rugged and physical as its been in years past, but the Stanford defenders have done a good job against the teams they have had to play. They are ranked #28 in the country in both points allowed (19 points/game) and total yardage allowed (328 yards/game), but the quality of their opponents offense is questionable.
. . . Expect to see the Bruin’s best effort tomorrow night. The only question being: will it be enough?
Northwestern, Oregon State and UCF are all ranked #98 or worse in the country in both total yards and points per game, and Arizona was without quarterback Anu Solomon. USC is the only quality offense that the Cardinal has faced this year, but although the Trojans have been prolific in spots, they have also been wildly inconsistent. Don’t fool yourself that Stanford is anything but uterly capable, but the Bruins should be the best offensive team that they have played so far this year (provided UCLA plays better than they did against ASU).
April 11, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal inside linebacker Blake Martinez (4) looks on during the spring football game at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The Cardinal defense does not create the same amount of havoc as a team like ASU does, but they are a disiplined and hard nosed unit led by senior linebacker Blake Martinez. Martinez has recorded double digit tackles in every game this year except one (he had 8 against UCF), and it seems like he always ends up wherever the ball goes. Expect Stanford to commit to stopping Paul Perkins and the UCLA running attack in order to force Josh Rosen into long passing downs.
Keeping Perkins in check and Rosen thowing in 3rd and long will get the Bruins off the field quickly (just like they struggled against ASU with 6 failed drives to open the game) and allow the Stanford offense to control time of possession. If they are successful, it will be a long day for quarterback Josh Rosen and the Bruins.
In Mora’s four losses to Stanford, the only game in which the Bruins were competitive was the only game in which the Bruin offense out-rushed the Cardinal (284 yards to 170 yards) and kept time of possession close (29 minutes to 31 minutes).
Running the ball will be essential to a Bruin victory, but expect them to loosen up some space for the backs by probing horizontally (sweeps and bubble screens) before trying to push the ball down the field.
"Did You Know: The Stanford Campus is nicknamed “the Farm” because it used to be … a farm. The 8,000 acre farm was donated by Leland Stanford to the university under the stipulation that it could never be sold."