Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#307 UCLA 55 vs.
#308 Stanford -4
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 9:00pm EDT
Stanford Stadium, Stanford
Written by Ricky Dimon

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#307 University of California, Los Angeles
#308 Stanford University
1-5
3-3
2-4
2-4
2-4
3-3
26
20
37
26

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The Stanford Cardinal will be trying to extend their winning streak to three games when they entertain the struggling UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium on Thursday night.

Tough times

UCLA lost three in a row to begin the 2019 campaign, beat Washington State in a shootout, and are now coming off consecutive setbacks against Arizona and Oregon State. It's safe to say things are not going according to plan for head coach Chip Kelly, whose team is off to its second consecutive 1-5 start and faces another uphill battle on Thursday. The Bruins have lost their last 11 meetings with the Cardinal. They also lost for the 14th time in Kelly's 18 games as coach when Oregon State jumped to a 21-0 lead over the stunned Bruins and posted a 48-31 victory at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 5.

"There's not a magic formula," Kelly admitted. "There is no trade or a waiver wire. You don't get to add players at this point in time. We've got to put them in positions to make plays and give them an opportunity to execute. That is on us as a coaching staff."

Sophomore Austin Burton went 27-of-41 for 236 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Oregon State and could make his second career start in place of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who has been out with a leg injury. Running back Demetric Felton piled up 166 yards from scrimmage against the Beavers, but the Bruins' defense allowed Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton to throw for a career-high five touchdowns passes and run for another.

Scarlett's letter grade: A

Following a three-game losing streak, the Cardinal have responded with consecutive victories over Oregon State and 15th-ranked Washington. Combined with a season-opening defeat of Northwestern, the Cardinal find themselves at .500 (3-3). They put together their most complete effort of the season before heading into last week's bye, dominating the time of possession in a 23-13 win over Washington.

UCLA can expect a heavy dose of Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett, who leads the Pac-12 with 564 rushing yards and has 13 receptions for 138 yards. Scarlett rushed a career-high 33 times for 151 yards and a touchdown in the win over Washington and has 702 all-purpose yards to lead the Cardinal, who are averaging nearly 35 minutes in time of possession--fourth best in the country. They are expected to start three true freshmen on their offensive line in front of sophomore Jack West, who will likely make his first career start with Davis Mills and K.J. Costello sidelined because of injuries.

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UCLA ranks near the bottom of the country in passing yards allowed (340.7 per game), total defense (503.3 yards allowed per game) and points allowed per game (37.7). Stanford's defense is led by cornerback Paulson Adebo, who ranks in the top 10 nationally in passes defended, pass breakups, and passes defended per game. That will make life tough on the Bruins, whose top receiver--Demetric Felton--leads the team by a mile in receptions (31), yards (397), and also has a team-leading three touchdown catches. If Felton is contained, how will UCLA move the ball? This is a squad that is averaging a hopeless 3.7 yards per rush. The Cardinal are 52-9 at home since the start of the 2010 season. Stanford is 4-1 ATS in its last five on Thursdays, 16-5-1 ATS in the last 22 meetings between the two teams, and 5-1 ATS in its last six at home against UCLA.

Prediction: Stanford Cardinal

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As mentioned above, both of these teams have all kinds of issues under center. Stanford is down to its third quarterback and UCLA does not know what it is going to do on Thursday night. Felton will be hard-pressed to make gains on Adebo, which would make life especially tough on the Bruins' one-dimensional offense. In four of its contests already this season, UCLA has scored no more than 17 points. The under is 5-2 in the Bruins' last seven on the road and 5-2 in their last seven on Thursdays. It is also 8-3 in the Cardinal's last 11 at home and 7-2 in their last nine following an off week. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fanβ€”and writerβ€”and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.