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Stanford at UCLA: Pregame Coverage

Stanford is playing Friday afternoon instead of Saturday. The Cardinal became bowl eligible last week by winning the Big Game. Stanford heads down south to Los Angeles to take on the Bruins, who many believe can make a run at the playoffs with wins over Stanford, and Oregon in the PAC 12 Championship game.

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Heads up, nerd nation! Stanford is playing Friday afternoon instead of Saturday. The Cardinal became bowl eligible last week by winning the Big Game. Stanford heads down south to Los Angeles to take on the Bruins, who many believe can make a run at the playoffs with wins over Stanford, and Oregon in the PAC 12 Championship game.

Kickoff is at 12:30 on ABC, so no Fox Sports shenanigans this week. We'll be live tweeting during the game, and posting some of the best pictures and reactions on facebook.

Now here is a look at all the pregame coverage you could ever ask for to get you up to speed.

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Cardinal and Bruins Collide
Stanford Athletic Department

Stanford Cardinal (6-5 • 4-4 Pac-12)
No. 9/10 UCLA Bruins (9-2 • 6-2 Pac-12)
November 28, 2014 • 12:30 p.m. (PT)
Rose Bowl (92,542) • Pasadena, Calif.

Television • Live national broadcast on ABC with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Todd McShay (sideline).

• Stanford is ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense (16.5 points/game), sixth in total defense (289.7 yards/game), 10th in passing defense (176.9 yards/game) and 14th in rushing defense (112.8 yards/game). The Cardinal defense has held each of its opponents below its season averages in passing yards and total offense.

UCLA Football Oppo Preview: Cracks in Stanford's Foundation?
By AHMB Bruins Nation

"Stanford's starters on the offensive line have some heft and there is a lot of talent across the board. The entire line are juniors, led by LT Andrus Peat, a future first round NFL pick, and RT Kyle Murphy. Stanford has given up 22 sacks this season, 64th in the nation, so they are beatable."

UCLA Football Oppo Preview: Stanford's Defensive Saviors
By Patroclus, Bruins Nation

"the Cardinal have taken a massive slide this season, from a conference title and Rose Bowl berth to hopes of making the Cactus Bowl (which actually is a thing). But for the many factors that have led to their 6-5 record, the defense has not been among them. As AHMB noted in his preview of the coaching staff, Stanford remains a top-10 defense. In 11 games, they have allowed 21 or more points just twice - losing both of those games (@ASU - 26, @ Oregon - 45), while in their 3 remaining losses, opponents scored a combined 50 points. Looking at Defensive FEI, the defense doesn't create many 3-and-out situations (#80 in '1st down rate'), but is good at limiting damage from explosive plays and keeping opposing offenses from penetrating too far into their own territory (#8 in 'value drives' - allowing opponents to advance from their own territory to inside the defensive team's 30 yard line)"

UCLA linemen look forward to the challenge of tough Stanford team
By Chris Foster, Los Angeles Times

"But, Brendel said, it's the Bruins who could dictate terms.

"The defense has to mold to what we do," Brendel said. "It is not so much their style. They have physical ability. They have big guys. But if they don't adapt to what we're doing, then they are not going to be successful."

On the other side of the ball, the Cardinal will not have a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time 2007, unless Remound Wright can roll up 512 yards in the last two games. The Cardinal average 150.5 yards rushing per game, down from 207.1 last season."

Stanford-UCLA Preview

"That group held the explosive UCLA spread offense to a total of 51 points in three meetings over the previous two seasons, all Stanford wins. Last season's 24-10 loss at Stanford was particularly ugly, with UCLA held to 266 yards of total offense and Hundley throwing two interceptions and taking four sacks."

Stanford shrugs off spoiler talk with UCLA on tap
By David Lombardi,

"The two-time defending Pac-12 champions have failed in their 2014 quest for a three-peat, but Stanford isn't tapping out yet -- not with a chance to make a potentially season-salvaging statement against UCLA, which will be gunning to clinch the Pac-12 South title against them.

"Obviously, we had a whole lot of higher hopes for this year, and that's the frustrating part, because there are missed opportunities there," safety Jordan Richards said. "But we can't focus on the past. We have to go 1-0 this week.""

Stanford leaps into bowl picture heading into UCLA showdown
by Rick Eymer Palo Alto Online

"We still look at each other as rivals to a certain degree," Stanford coach David Shaw said of the Bruins. "We look at both L.A. schools that way. It's not as close in proximity as Cal, but it is a rivalry in and of itself. This rivalry is special and it has its own unique slant."

UCLA players get healthy for Stanford game
By CHRIS FOSTER Los Angeles Times

"With a victory over Stanford, UCLA will win the Pac-12 South Division and go to the conference championship game. A loss sends the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game to the Dec. 5 title game in Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The Wildcats and Sun Devils play Friday."

Can UCLA's Paul Perkins remain Pac-12's rushing leader against Stanford defense?
By Jack Wang, Los Angeles Daily News

"What isn't challenging about the Stanford defense?" said UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. "Since I've been in this league, we've always had a rough time against them. Tough, physical, they've always got a great scheme."

Stanford-UCLA game could go either way
By Jon Gold Arizona Daily Star

"Stanford has kept its thumb on the Bruins for years, dating back to 2008. That's the last time the Bruins beat the Cardinal, and it just happens to coincide with the pre-Andrew Luck era. Only the Cardinal have kept up the luck without Luck. Stanford is 3-0 against Mora, with back-to-back wins over UCLA, including a Pac-12 championship game win. Not that Shaw is resting on his laurels."

Stanford-UCLA Preview Capsule
By The Associated Press

"After a short week of preparation, UCLA could win the Pac-12 South and move one huge step closer to the College Football Playoff with its sixth straight victory in a late-season surge. But after six straight wins over the Bruins, Stanford can play spoiler while salvaging some satisfaction from 2014, which began on New Year's Day with a loss to Michigan State on this same Rose Bowl turf."

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Stanford football: Grading the Week
By Jon Wilner, Mercury News

"I don't expect the Cardinal to replicate the production it generated against Cal, Oregon State or Washington State - 30 points is a bit much to expect unless there are defensive or special teams touchdowns.

But I also expect Stanford to contain Brett Hundley and the UCLA offense to the point that this is in doubt in the second half, and perhaps deep into the second half.

Only one team has scored 30 on Stanford: Oregon did it, and UCLA is not Oregon, Hundley is not Mariota and Paul Perkins is not Royce Freeman.

The Bruins are favored by 4.5 (expect the line to rise), and that feels about right. UCLA wins 28-24 or 24-20 ... something in that range

UCLA the smart play vs. Stanford
By Phil Steele New York Post

"Both teams are off crosstown rivalry wins. The Bruins, however, had a bye and are home for a second straight week while Stanford lost a two-overtime affair to Utah and traveling in the second of a back-to-back road trip. UCLA is also finishing this season as strong as any team, beating the trio of Arizona, Washington and USC by 14 points per game while outgaining them by 167 yards per game."

UCLA Football Oppo Preview: What's Stanford's Deal?
By AHMB Bruins Nation

"What's Stanford's deal? The Cardinal still play very stout defense; they give up only 290 yards per game of total offense, good for 6th in the nation; they have 35 sacks thus far, good for 10th in the nation; and they allow only 16.5 ppg, good for 6th in the nation. However, Stanford seems to have lost their identity somewhat on offense. Stanford puts up 382 yards of total offense per game, but the ground game has taken a big hit."

UCLA Pregame Guesses: Stanford Cardinal Edition
By Achilles, Bruins Nation

"I'll be more clear: I have no doubt - zero doubt - that wins over Stanford tomorrow and Oregon next week would put us in the first college football playoffs. Two more wins and the only thing the loss to Utah cost us was a better seed; as it stands (assuming Alabama wins out) we'd have a date with a sure-to-be number seed Crimson Tide."

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UCLA has legit playoff case if it wins out
By Sharon Katz, ESPN

"If UCLA beats Stanford and Oregon it will likely jump into the top four in Strength of Record. The Bruins would likely have the same record as Oregon but will have played a tougher schedule in achieving that record. Similarly, assuming TCU and Baylor win out, the Bruins would have as many wins as those teams but significantly more quality wins, including a victory against one of the top teams in the nation (Oregon)."

Pac-12 by the numbers: Week 14
By Kyle Bonagura,

"Stanford at UCLA
Stanford is minus-6 in turnover margin in Pac-12 games, but is just minus-4 in points off turnover margin

UCLA running back Paul Perkins leads the Pac-12 with 1,262 yards rushing, which is the second-most for a UCLA running back over the last 10 years.

Stanford is one of 20 teams in the country to allow 11 or fewer touchdown passes this season.

Only nine teams in the country have allowed more first downs due to penalty than UCLA (26).

In conference games, UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has rushed for 492 yards, which is the most in the Pac-12 and fifth-most among Power 5 quarterbacks."