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Stanford Cardinal vs. UCLA Bruins predictions from the Rule of Tree staff

We asked the writers their thoughts on the upcoming Stanford football game against UCLA

NCAA Football: UCLA at Stanford Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Foy Stanford is favored by 2.5 points. I don’t see why. It should be higher. UCLA respectably lost to Texas A&M and barely beat BYU. So far, UCLA hasn’t showed that they’re a top PAC-12 team this year. Meanwhile, Stanford is a PAC-12 powerhouse. Despite the improved UCLA rush defense, Christian McCaffrey will only be contained at best. Stanford’s defense is stronger this year and will hold the UCLA offense. Prediction: Stanford 28. UCLA 14.

Nerdnation23: Streaks are made to be broken... UCLA losing to Stanford however will not be broken this weekend. While Stanford will play outside their comfort zone this weekend, they are playing in a place they know very well of late. Burns will play well and as long as McCaffrey and company put up points, the D will continue to bend but not break. Stanford 31 Ucla 17.

Matt Vassar Man, I love the optimism from my esteemed colleagues, but I just don't see this game as the slam dunk that they do. Thus far this season, Stanford and UCLA have seen a similar strength of schedule and have been statistically similar. On defense, UCLA has a slight edge, allowing 4.6 yards/play compared to Stanford's 4.8 yards/play. On offense, Stanford holds the edge by producing 6 yards/play compared to UCLA's 5.4 yards/play. If the stats bear out, I see Stanford eking out a tightly-contested win, 24-21, and I won't be surprised if these two teams see each other again in the Pac-12 Championship.

Tony Fernandes This game will be closer than you think. Stanford has improved on the defensive side of the ball, but will be surely tested by UCLA's passing attack. UCLA has the ability to put points on the board quickly; it will be up to the Stanford defense to take control of the game, and get a solid rush on UCLA QB Josh Rosen. Stanford will need to expand their offense this week, utilize the TEs more, and get the ball to other skill position players. Stanford will leave LA with a victory, but it will be close; Cardinal 27, UCLA 20.

Matt Levin Stanford will face a real challenge this weekend against UCLA. Stanford's defense will have to be at its best in this game with UCLA having a great offense. However, like always, Stanford’s offense will be rolling. There is no stopping McCaffrey and Burns and the offensive line have proved themselves. This game will be closer than many think but Stanford's offense will be too much for UCLA. Stanford 34 UCLA 27

Nick Dempsey - In order for UCLA to win this game they are going to have to do something they have not really shown themselves capable of doing thus far. They either have to 1. seriously contain Christian McCaffrey (and throw Bryce Love and Michael Rector in there while you are at it) OR 2. Josh Rosen is going to have to prove himself an elite and consistent quarterback despite being pressured. Frankly, I’m not sure either is likely to happen on Saturday night, but UCLA has plenty of talent, they are healthy, and they are at home so I do not want to immediately count them out. Still, unless UCLA shows us something we have yet to see (either #1 or #2) it seems unlikely they will win. Stanford 24, UCLA 17.

Kyle Fierro I think the training wheels come off the offense this week- mirroring last year's season arc. Stanford faces a tough run defense early and is forced to exploit a less talented UCLA secondary. Burns responds accordingly with passes in the flat to McCaffrey and deep bombs to Rector. Rosen finds himself down by multiple scores in the second half is forced to throw a lot, and ends the game with 3 picks. Stanford wins this one 42-24.

CMolesky For the second week in a row Stanford will play a team with a quarterback that is greatly affected by a messy pocket. Josh Rosen did not play well against Texas A&M and BYU because they got to the QB, hitting him all game long. Stanford's front seven will be a nightmare for Rosen and make this an easy game for Stanford's offense to jump out to an early lead. We have seen the result when that happens. Stanford wins 35-17.

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