This article was updated Sept. 24 at 1:26 a.m.
Stanford went through three quarterbacks against UCLA, but as long as the Cardinal had Bryce Love in the backfield, their offense kept churning and scoring.
The running back gashed the Bruins for 263 yards – the second-highest single-game total in Cardinal program history – on 30 carries, and Stanford (2-2, 1-1 Pac-12) scored on eight consecutive drives from the second quarter to the end of the game to pull away with a 58-34 win over UCLA (2-2, 0-1) Saturday night.
The hosts ended up outrushing coach Jim Mora’s squad 405 to 115.
“I can’t remember being around a run defense that gives up so many big plays in my career,” Mora said. “There were a lot of things going right, and then all of a sudden it started to go wrong.”
Things started going downhill near the end of the first quarter.
Winless in 10 consecutive games against the Cardinal, the Bruins had to play more than three quarters without redshirt junior safety Adarius Pickett. He became UCLA’s third victim of a targeting penalty and ejection in as many games.
And while the Bruins’ defense – now giving up an average of 43.25 points per game – couldn’t keep the Cardinal off the board in the second half, UCLA’s offense couldn’t make the most of its opportunities. Sophomore kicker JJ Molson had a 23-yard field goal blocked midway through the second quarter, and the Bruins turned the ball over four times.
The Cardinal converted those turnovers into 20 points, while UCLA converted Stanford’s only turnover into a first quarter field goal.
“I’m very disappointed in the turnovers, and that’s the one (thing) that we as a coaching staff and the team are having a really hard time (with),” said offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. “I don’t think there’s a doubt that we can be really good on offense. I mean, we can be, but you can’t be if you give the other team the ball.”
The Bruins also largely steered clear of the run game while on offense.
Junior running back Soso Jamabo became the first UCLA running back in 19 games to reach the century mark and added a touchdown, but offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch only called 12 run plays the entire game.
Meanwhile, junior quarterback Josh Rosen completed 40 of 60 passes for 480 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Redshirt senior receiver Darren Andrews recorded his nation-leading seventh touchdown catch of the game, and redshirt junior wideout Jordan Lasley registered his fifth career 100-yard game, but the rest of UCLA’s receiving corps struggled.
Sophomore wide receiver Theo Howard dropped a touchdown pass at the goal line right before Molson’s field goal attempt was blocked, and he later fumbled the ball at the UCLA 30-yard line, leading to a Stanford field goal right before halftime. Midway through the third quarter, redshirt junior wide receiver Christian Pabico converted a 3rd-and-20, but Stanford’s cornerback Alameen Murphy ripped the ball out.
UCLA also finished with 12 penalties for 127 yards – season-highs in both categories.
“We didn’t play well, we gave up too many big runs – big plays,” said defensive coordinator Tom Bradley. “You can’t play defense giving up big plays, you can’t have dumb penalties. … You shoot yourselves all the time with some of the things that we did.”