Friday, November 15

UCLA football hopes to defeat Stanford for 1st time in 11 years


Senior center Boss Tagaloa has started UCLA football's last 15 games at center. Tagaloa, who grew up in the Bay Area, has yet to defeat Stanford in his UCLA career. (Tanmay Shankar/Assistant Photo editor)

Senior center Boss Tagaloa has started UCLA football's last 15 games at center. Tagaloa, who grew up in the Bay Area, has yet to defeat Stanford in his UCLA career. (Tanmay Shankar/Assistant Photo editor)


Don’t ask Chip Kelly about Stanford’s 11-year winning streak over UCLA football.

He isn’t interested.

“It’s irrelevant to this game,” said the coach following Monday’s practice. “I don’t think because someone lost three years ago that that has an impact on the game this season. It doesn’t matter where you are. It doesn’t matter if it’s Stanford-UCLA or Army-Navy, the game could have been lost four years ago – it should not affect what goes on now.”

Despite the fact that not a single player on the Bruins’ roster has ever beaten the Cardinal, Kelly said the rivalry’s recent history should have zero mental effect on his players heading into Thursday’s matchup.

“All of our players weren’t here a year ago, most of them,” Kelly said. “We’re such a young team, I don’t think that has any relevance to some of those guys. They were never here for it, so I don’t think it’s a real big factor.”

However, unlike Kelly, some players, such as senior center Boss Tagaloa, said they are hoping to “reverse the curse.”

Tagaloa – a Northern California native – has played in each of UCLA’s previous three meetings with Stanford. He said that although he doesn’t know when the Bruins last beat the Cardinal, he is focused on getting a win in the rivalry before his time in blue and gold is up.

“I just know that I haven’t beaten Stanford yet, so I want get this last (win) before I get up out of here,” Tagaloa said.

Tagaloa also said the team is feeling good after getting the chance to recover physically during the bye week, and added that the energy at practice this week has been positive despite the program’s second straight 1-5 start.

“(Practice has) been good. No head-hanging, no nothing,” Tagaloa said. “Everybody who comes out just works.”

UCLA closed out the first half of its season with a 17-point loss to Oregon State at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 5, one of the Bruins’ three home losses on the year.

However, despite UCLA’s five losses through six weeks, redshirt freshman defensive back Rayshad Williams doesn’t think the Bruins are far from figuring things out.

“(We’re) super close,” Williams said. “We’re literally just one play away or one drive away from being where we want to be at.”

After starting 1-5 last season, UCLA went on to finish 3-9, displaying an upward trajectory down the stretch with wins over USC and California.

The progression from the end of last season hasn’t yet translated into wins this year, but the Bruins will have a chance to repeat last year’s late-season success Thursday.

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Sports Senior Staff

Smith is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the football and men's basketball beats. He was the 2018-2019 Sports editor and an assistant Sports editor in 2017-2018. Smith was previously on the women's basketball, men's water polo, baseball, men's golf and women's golf beats.


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  • rgoldsto

    Kelly may not be interested in Stanford’s 11-year winning streak over UCLA, but is he interested in the abilities of key players on the current Stanford team? Is he interested in Stanford’s offensive and defensive tendencies? And is he teaching his players about these fundamentals? Alas, I think not. He seems content to prattle on about how young UCLA’s players are.