UCLA Football vs. Stanford 2017: Go Joe Bruin chats with Go Mighty Card

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PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Darren Andrews
PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Darren Andrews /

Is it once agains time for the UCLA Football team to have their dreaded matchup with the Stanford Cardinal and to get the low down, GJB talked to the editor for Go Mighty Card about the game.

It is here, ladies and gentlemen. The UCLA Football team is once again preparing for a game against an opponent they have not beaten in nine attempts.

RELATED: Know Your Opponent – UCLA vs. Stanford

But things are slightly different this season and to get perspective on the matter, we talked to friend of GJB and Stanford expert, Hank Waddles of GoMightyCard.com.

Related Story: How much ground will the Bruins give against the Stanford run?

Go Joe Bruin: Stanford occasionally loses early in the season and then has a major recovery as the season progresses. Is that possible after starting 1-2 or are dark times on the horizon for the Cardinal?

Go Mighty Card: I am eternally optimistic in most respects, and certainly with respect to Stanford football. As you note, the Cardinal has endured disappointing starts in other seasons only to emerge as strong as ever by the end of the season. That’s certainly possible with this team, as there’s at least as much talent on the roster as any Stanford team in recent memory, but many fans and observers believe otherwise. The problem is that we simply don’t have enough information right now.

PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Trenton Irwin
PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Trenton Irwin /

Even at the time we knew that the 62-7 win over Rice told us nothing about the team, and the loss to USC was easily explained away. Last week’s loss to San Diego State is much more problematic, though the Aztecs could end up as one of the surprise teams in the nation. This week’s game, then, is critical. My USC people remind me that the Trojans were 1-3 last season before going on their Rose Bowl run, but I worry that a third consecutive loss, with four ranked teams still lying ahead on the schedule, would be difficult to overcome.

GJB: With a two game losing streak, what is Stanford’s mentality heading into the UCLA game (a team they have beat nine straight times)?

GMC: All the quotes from players and Coach Shaw are exactly what you’d expect — the typical reminders that the players still believe in each other and the coaches still have high expectations. Shaw said this week that it’s been a difficult start, definitely not what they wanted or expected, but that he believes they’re making strides. It’s interesting to note, however, that Shaw has been very un-Shaw-ish recently.

He got a little combative with a few reporters during his weekly media luncheon, taking issue with questions about his game strategy, he aggressively confronted the San Diego State coaching staff as the teams crossed paths on the way to the locker room at halftime and there were times during the game when he was all alone on the sideline, yards away from anyone else. I’m not sure what this means, but I’d guess the team has taken notice.