Like watching a piece of lumber slowly fed into a wood chipper, the result of last night's Stanford–UCLA game seemed inevitable. Stanford's offense, already ninth-best in the country at 46 PPG, probably couldn't wait to test the leaky Bruins defense.
Given a week to prepare, it was almost unfair.
The chasm of class between the two teams could be summed up on the opening drive. After an impressive march to get within the Cardinal five, the visiting Bruins could not break the plane on three consecutive rushes. Instead of going for the field goal, UCLA tried a QB sneak and was denied again.
Then Stanford, starting on their own 1-yard line, put together a 16-play, 99-yard scoring drive that took the rest of the quarter to complete.
Once up 7–0, there was no turning back.
UCLA can't gain one yard when they need to, while Stanford makes 99 look effortless.
And it wasn't just that the Cardinal put together such an impressive scoring drive to start the game, it was the way they did it.
Counters, three-tight end sets, gadget plays—Stanford threw everything in their playbook at UCLA except the kitchen sink. Andrew Luck threw for 68 yards and a touchdown, then caught a pass himself for 13 more. In snagging the touchdown grab, Coby Fleener only needed one hand between two Bruin defenders.
The rest of the game did not go that much differently. The Cardinal scored at will, and UCLA showed flashes of brilliance, but could never overcome its mistakes. They were not the better team coming into the game and did nothing to change that perception on the field.
That being said, there are some positives to take away from Saturday night's pummeling. Here are the grades for the UCLA offensive, defensive and special teams units.