Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Last Saturday, Stanford beat UCLA 35-17 at the Rose Bowl. If the Cardinal can beat UCLA twice in six days, Stanford will have punched its ticket to the Rose Bowl on January 1.
The Cardinal appear to be more balanced than the Bruins, and the excitement factor has gone up with dual-threat quarterback Kevin Hogan adding a new dimension to the offense. Hogan will be playing toss-and-catch against a Bruins passing defense that is ranked No. 101 among FBS teams.
Last week the Cardinal only passed for 160 yards, but I expect that number to go up this week as UCLA prepares for the Cardinal's lethal rushing attack; Stanford gashed UCLA for 221 rushing yards last week.
UCLA's offensive line was the obvious deficiency in last week's loss to Stanford—Brett Hundley was sacked seven times and running back Johnathan Franklin was held to 65 rushing yards.
I expect the game to be closer if UCLA avoids turnovers and can handle the pass rush, but I still think Stanford does the unthinkable and beats the same team twice in one week.
Prediction: Stanford beats UCLA 38-31 and goes to the Rose Bowl after a 13-year absence.