The UCLA Bruins broke a two-game losing streak by defeating the Stanford Cardinal 34-16 on Thursday at Stanford Stadium.
UCLA dominated from start to finish, gaining 455 yards from scrimmage to Stanford's 198. The Cardinal didn't score an offensive touchdown until 2:50 remained in the game.
Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, running back Joshua Kelley and wideout Kyle Philips paced the Bruins offense. Third-string quarterback Jack West made his first career start for Stanford, who was without first-stringer K.J. Costello (thumb injury) and backup Davis Mills (calf injury).
The Bruins (2-5, 2-2 Pac-12) are now a half-game back of four teams tied for first in the Pac-12 South at 2-1. The Cardinal (3-4, 2-3 Pac-12) fell to third in the Pac-12 North.
UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson: 21-of-34, 192 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 13 carries, 66 rushing yards, 1 TD
UCLA RB Joshua Kelley: 18 carries, 176 rushing yards, 1 TD; 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards
UCLA WR Kyle Philips: 10 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 2 TD
Stanford QB Jack West: 15-of-32, 143 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Stanford RB Cameron Scarlett: 13 carries, 34 rushing yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 9 receiving yards
UCLA WR Kyle Philips' Ascension Continues
Freshman wideout Kyle Philips earned immediate playing time for the Bruins, but he had a relatively quiet first three games with eight catches for 108 yards and one touchdown.
Philips isn't sneaking up on anyone now, though, after a strong three-game set capped by a two-touchdown performance on Thursday.
The San Marcos, California, native has 23 catches for 234 yards and three touchdowns in his last three games. He's caught at least six passes in each of those contests, helping propel an offense that's averaged 27.3 points during that span.
Philips ran a great route on his opening touchdown, a 19-yarder following a dime from Thompson-Robinson.
A stutter-step and a hard cut left created enough room for him to grab a cross-field pass at the nine-yard line. Philips then turned upfield for six.
After a Stanford three-and-out, UCLA went back to work, and Philips closed the drive with a score once again. He ran another out-pattern—this time from three yards away—for the score.
Otherwise, Philips moved the chains all night, with slants proving to be a winning formula.
It helped that Philips was able to create separation:
UCLA's road to the end of the season doesn't get easier, as the Bruins face Top 25 teams Arizona State and Utah in two of their next three games before a date with archrival USC.
However, Philips is riding a tidal wave of momentum after his career-best performance in an upset victory, so his run of success should continue into the second half of the season.
Stanford Suffers Crushing Loss After Apparent Turnaround
Although the Cardinal were down to their third-string quarterback, their performance on Thursday was stunning for a few reasons.
The Cardinal entered the game ranked 31st in the Sagarin ratings, or 49 places ahead of UCLA. Stanford was also at home and coming off wins over Oregon State and then-No. 15 Washington. And despite their top two quarterbacks being injured, the Cardinal were 4.5-point favorites, per Vegas Insider.
However, the Cardinal suffered their most disappointing defeat of a season that began with a 1-3 start.
Stanford was outplayed everywhere but special teams. The Cardinal couldn't move the ball through the air, mustering just 4.5 yards per pass attempt. The running game, which gashed No. 15 Washington for 189 yards and a touchdown in a 23-13 win on Saturday, couldn't get anything going en route to just 78 yards from four Stanford backs.
On defense, Stanford allowed 9.8 rushing yards per attempt to Joshua Kelley and let up a career-best performance from Philips, who had more receiving yards than the entire Stanford team well into the fourth quarter.
The result was undoubtedly disappointing, although Stanford can still earn a bowl bid with wins in three of its next five games. Only one is against a ranked opponent (No. 8 Notre Dame).
UCLA and Stanford will both host Pac-12 schools from Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Bruins will welcome No. 17 Arizona State to Los Angeles, and the Cardinal will host Arizona.