The #24 UCLA Bruins (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) travel to take on the Stanford Cardinal (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12) in Week 4 of the college football season. UCLA is reeling after suffering their first loss of the season last week, a rare non-conference loss to Fresno State, 40-37. Stanford opened the season with a non-conference loss to Kansas State but bounced back the last two weeks with wins over USC and Vanderbilt.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 6 p.m. EST inside Stanford Stadium in Stanford, CA. According to oddsmakers, the Bruins are a 4-point favorite, and the total over-under is at 59.5.
What to Know – UCLA Bruins
UCLA opened the 2021 season with victories over Hawaii and LSU before its defeat last week to the Bulldogs. The Bruins open up conference play aiming to get the train back on track against a Cardinal team that has given UCLA problems in the past. Saturday’s contest is the first road test of the season for the Bruins.
UCLA is scoring 40.3 points and averaging 419.0 yards per game through the first month of play. Defensively, the Bruins are holding opponents to 25.7 points and 405.7 yards per game, including just 63.0 yards on the ground.
If the Bruins want to get back in the win column, they will continue to have to ride the play of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet. Thompson-Robinson has thrown for 668 yards with seven passing touchdowns and one interception. Charbonnet, the Michigan transfer, has 242 yards and six touchdowns this season while averaging 10.5 yards per carry.
What to Know – Stanford Cardinal
Stanford made a switch at quarterback following the opening loss to Kansas State, and it has paid off with a pair of victories. Head coach David Shaw is 2-1 against UCLA’s Chip Kelly. Saturday marks Stanford’s first home contest of the season, so expect a loud and rowdy crowd at The Farm.
The Cardinal offense seems to have found their identity in Week 2, scoring 83 points over the last two weeks. Stanford averages 30.0 points and 343.3 yards of offense per game, and the defense allows 25.0 points and 383.3 yards of offense per contest.
Quarterback Tanner McKee has played exceptionally since taking over the starting role under center. McKee has thrown for 570 yards with five touchdowns and no picks and added a rushing score in each of the last two contests.
Running back Nathaniel Peat will shoulder a lot of the workload out of the backfield this week, with multiple rushers out with injury. Peat leads Stanford with 169 yards on the ground and a pair of scores.
The Pick is In
Stanford has given the Bruins fits in the past, but this is Kelly’s most complete team since taking over the head job four years ago. This should be another evenly matched contest between conference rivals, but the firepower on UCLA’s offense will prove too much for the Cardinal defense.
Betting Pick: UCLA Bruins -4