There’s nothing worse than feeling like you just can’t win against a certain team. It’s even worse when you consider said team used to be the doormat of your conference. UCLA Football QB Josh Rosen has never beaten the Stanford Cardinal and with rumors of his departure after the season, this might be his last chance.
Do you remember when you were younger and that older sibling always used to beat up on you? They were bigger, they were stronger and despite all of your best efforts you just couldn’t seem to overcome them? Now do you remember when you got stronger and bigger and they didn’t keep up when the tables turned? That’s the gloating feeling the Stanford Cardinal have to feel when thinking about UCLA Football.
The Cardinal have reeled off nine straight wins across two Bruin head coaches and two of their own. It hasn’t just been one major game or a couple of losing seasons, it has been almost a decade. It has also clearly become a thorn in the side of Bruin head coach Jim Mora and one of the main rallying cries of those looking to oust him.
It goes without saying that Rosen and Mora are tied to one another and the stud QB has also never beaten the Cardinal despite a few impressive outings against them. In 2015 as a true freshman Rosen came out and threw for three scores and over 300 yards against a strong Cardinal defense. Yes he had two picks but he battled to the end including an absolute dime to Thomas Duarte between multiple defenders.
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As a sophomore with a new offensive system Rosen was a good soldier and did what was asked of him by the coaching staff. He threw a touchdown in the first quarter of the game and that score alone would have won it except for a fourth quarter surge that made the game look further apart than it really was. He did lose a fumble but that was a late score when the Bruins were looking for one last gasp. Just two games later Rosen would be lost for the season but what he showed in that game was beyond impressive despite it not being a statistical explosion.
This year the offense has been incredibly sharp with Rosen at the helm and he has been almost surgical at points. The Stanford defense has lost some of it’s shine and looked vulnerable in back to back losses. Of course those losses were against strong running teams, something the UCLA Football team is not. This means success will be riding on Rosen again. He’s already leading the country in touchdown passes and will be throwing to versatile and productive WR group.
If the rumors are to be believed and we can read the writing on the wall it looks like Josh Rosen will declare for the NFL draft following the season unless something unexpected takes place. You hear about plenty of coaches and players saying they return because of “unfinished business”. If the Bruins, led by Rosen, are able to knock off the Cardinal for the first time in nine games you can bet he’ll check that one off his list of unfinished business.
Of course there’s always the chance the Bruins could have a rematch with the Cardinal in the PAC-12 championship game but that’s another discussion for another time.