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UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal: Stanford wins big with historic performances

Christian McCaffrey, Francis Owusu, Kevin Hogan, and just about everyone else looked great in Stanford's drubbing of the UCLA Bruins

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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Stanford started the game on offense and Christian McCaffrey on the first play from the line of scrimmage busted out a 25 yard rush but the drive stalled on a big Austin Hooper drop on a deep pass followed by Remound Wright unable to convert on 3rd and 3 on a stretch run play.

UCLA started the next possession deep in their own territory. UCLA began moving the ball well until Josh Rosen threw long on third down with Alijah Holder snagging the interception and running the ball into the end zone for the pick six giving Stanford the early lead.

UCLA was able to find some success on the ground the next possession largely with one big run but the Bruins imploded once in the red zone blowing a time out and committing two penalties blowing up the drive. The Bruins settled for a field goal narrowing the lead 7-3.

The ensuing kickoff lead to a 96-yard kickoff return from Christian McCaffrey. He did not get into the end zone but the Cardinal started the drive at the UCLA 4 yard line. The Cardinal went immediately to Austin Hooper for the touchdown giving Stanford a 14-3 lead. At that point in the game Stanford had run all of 5 offensive plays but had 14 points to show for it.

The very next play from the line of scrimmage the Stanford defense had a massive coverage failure allowing Rosen to throw a deep pass that lead to a 70 yard touchdown. The score was 14-10 after only 8 minutes and 14 seconds of game time.

Stanford finally started to slow the game down by putting together a nice steady offensive drive to kill the first quarter. The Bruins were able to slow the running game down a bit but Kevin Hogan was able to dig the offense out of third and long situations. The drive culminated with a touchdown pass to Devon Cajuste early in the second quarter to give Stanford a 21-10 lead. The drive lasted 7 minutes and 24 seconds and it was their longest of the season so far.

Finally both defenses began to settle in and both teams exchanged punts then after a great defensive stand by the Stanford defense the Cardinal took over with great field position, Hogan once again connected with Hooper followed by McCaffrey running it into the end zone out of the wildcat. Stanford extends the lead to 28-10 with still 8 minutes left in first half.

The Stanford defense once again played UCLA and Josh Rosen tough forcing a quick punt and the Stanford offense came back out and slowed the game down with their classic dominant rushing attack. The Cardinal chewed up clock thanks to Christian McCaffrey's elite abilities. With just a couple of minutes left in the first half Stanford took a 35-10 lead and UCLA looked helpless on defense while McCaffrey is now first in the nation in all-purpose yards.

Just as everything seems to be running smoothly headed into half time Kenny Walker III wide receiver for UCLA took a nasty shot at Blake Martinez injuring Martinez and getting himself ejected for targeting in the process. Martinez would head to the locker room early before halftime with a bloody mouth but he would return to the game in the second half.

The Bruins were able to move the ball down the field and put seven points on the board bringing the Bruins to within 18 set to get the ball first in the second half.

52 combined points in the first half.

Owusu Catch

Owusu with the amazing catch

After a quiet start to the second half Francis Owusu decided to ignore probability and possibly the laws of physics by making an ESPY worthy catch for a touchdown. The play started on a direct snap to Christian McCaffrey who handed it to Bryce Love who then pitched it to Kevin Hogan who threw it deep to the end zone. The pass was a bit underthrown but the defensive back clearly committed pass interference as he plowed into Francis Owusu but it did not matter.

Owusu, who probably could not even see the ball as he was getting knocked down wrapped his arms around the defender and somehow managed to catch the ball on the back of the defender for the touchdown. It was a legendary catch that you will no doubt see over and over for some time to come. The next possession Rosen threw an interception to none other than Kodi Whitfield who also had a legendary touchdown catch also against UCLA.

Christian McCaffrey continued to build a solid argument for Heisman Trophy contention by breaking the school record for most rushing yards in a single game and he did it with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Cardinal brought in the backups for the fourth quarter to finish off the game leaving plenty of time and opportunity for the ESPN broadcast crew to talk about Christian McCaffrey's Heisman chances as well as Stanford's playoff chances.

Stanford wins their 8th straight against UCLA by the final of 56-35