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UCLA falls at Stanford
DOWN AND OUT: UCLA receiver Morrell Presley was on the wrong end of a big hit on this play as the Bruins suffered their first loss at Stanford.Â They will need to regroup quickly for Oregon at home on Sunday.Â Redzone offense kills the Bruins
By Jason LewisSentinel Staff Writer
Well all good things must come to an end. Chances are there were not very many people who had illusions of grandeur that the UCLA Bruins would go undefeated this season, and seeing how they have been playing on offense, their days of being unbeaten were numbered. Well that number was punched at Stanford as the Bruins lost 24-16.
UCLA has been living off of their defense, but at some point that good defense was going to have a bad game. Well that bad game finally happened this past Saturday at Stanford, and the offense was nowhere in sight to pick up the slack.
The Bruins offense is second to last in the PAC 10 in points scored. They've averaged only 22 points per game. They have been without starting quarterback Kevin Prince the since the Tennessee game, but his presence would not have made much of a difference because he was not exactly lighting up the scoreboard when he was playing.
The most telling stat in the loss to Stanford was redzone offense. Both teams made it there four times. Stanford scored three touchdowns and one field goal. UCLA was the exact opposite, one touchdown and three field goals. There's your ball game right there.
UCLA had their chances, but came away with field goals. They scored by threes while Stanford scored by sevens. That has been a problem for UCLA all season. Their kicker leads the nation in made field goals. The offense is leaving too many points on the board every game.
The offense's lack of touchdowns has been hidden by the defense shutting teams down. But Stanford racked up 372 yards against UCLA, 174 of them on the ground. UCLA's offense needed to step up and win this game, but drive after drive stalled, leading to either a punt of field goal attempt.
UCLA really needed to win here because they have No. 13 Oregon this week and then Cal the week after. If they are not careful they could be out of the PAC 10 race in a hurry.
It looks like they will have Prince back for this week's game, but that might not matter much if the defense does not step up and win the game, like they have been doing all season.
Until the offense can match the defense, UCLA will just be a middle of the road team. They'll win 6+ games and be bowl eligible, but they will not be going to any big time bowls.