Week 13 College Football Picks: #8 Stanford Cardinal at #17 UCLA Bruins

#8 Stanford Cardinal at #17 UCLA Bruins
Saturday, November 23, 2012, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California
Opening Line: pick
Current Line: Stanford -3 (-105)
Opening Total: 53
Current Total: 51 1/2
Opening Money Line: Stanford -130 / UCLA +110
Current Money Line: Stanford -145 / UCLA +125

Stanford can clinch the Pac 12 North title with a win Saturday at UCLA. Teh Cardinal are 3 point road favorites.

At the beginning of the season, many thought Stanford would be in for a rebuilding year without quarterback Andrew Luck, who was the #1 pick in the NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. However, Stanford is 9-2 this season and ranked #8 in the BCS standings. They are coming off a 17-14 upset at previously undefeated Oregon in overtime last week. That win put Stanford in the driver’s seat for the Pac 12 North title. If Stanford wins Saturday against #17 UCLA in Pasadena, then the two teams will play again next Friday night in Palo Alto for the Pac 12 Championship with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line. A Stanford loss coupled with an Oregon win over Oregon St earlier in the day would send Oregon to the Pac 12 Championship game. The Cardinal would also clinch the division with an Oregon St win even if Stanford loses to UCLA. If that happened UCLA would host the game next week. The 9-2 Bruins already clinched the South Division title by virtue of their 38-28 win over USC last week.

UCLA leads the series against Stanford 45-34-3 including 10-5 in Pasadena. UCLA has won 6 of the last 10 in the series, but Stanford has won 3 straight. The Cardinal won 45-19 last year in Palo Alto.

Stanford is 7-1 in the Pac 12 under coach David Shaw. The only losses came at Washington 17-13 and Notre Dame 20-13 in overtime. Stanford has home wins over San Jose St 20-17, Duke 50-13, USC 21-14, Arizona 54-48 in triple overtime, Washington St 24-17, and Oregon St 27-23, along with road wins at Cal 21-3, Colorado 48-0, and Oregon last week. The Cardinal have won 5 straight games.Stanford is 7-4 ATS and the total is 3-8 this season. Stanford was an 18.5 point underdog at Oregon and the total was 67.

Stanford is averaging 380.8 yards per game, including 211.8 passing yards and 169 rushing yards. The Cardinal are outscoring opponents 28-17 this season. Stanford is +6 in turnovers with 17 giveaways, and has allowed 14 sacks. The Cardinal are 67/168 on third and fourth down conversions, and 34/41 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns. On defense, Stanford is giving up 328.4 yards per game including 256.8 passing yards, and 71.5 rushing yards. The Cardinal are 2nd against the run nationally, but 93rd against the pass. Stanford is in the top 20 nationally in scoring and total defense. Stanford has forced 46 sacks and 23 turnovers. Stanford opponents are 64/201 on third and fourth down conversions, and 26/33 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns. The Cardinal have 6 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Josh Nunes started the season but was largely ineffective. He was yanked in the Colorado game and replaced by Keith Hogan, who has started the last two games. Nunes has completed 124/235 passes (52.8%) for 1,643 yards with 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 24 carries, 77 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has been sacked 8 times. Hogan is 66/89 passing (74.2%) for 658 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 33 carries, 150 yards and a touchdown. He has been sacked 6 times this season.

Running back Stepfan Taylor has 258 carries, 1,222 yards, and 9 touchdowns along with 29 catches, 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. No other Cardinal rusher has more than 33 carries, and those are by Hogan. Tight end Zach Ertz has 58 catches, 747 yards, and 6 touchdowns.   Levine Toilolo has 22 catches, 377 yards and 4 touchdowns. Drew Terrell has 25 catches, 362 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also has a punt return for a touchdown. Ty Montgomery has 23 catches for 187 yards. Jamal-Rashad Patterson has only 12 catches but has two touchdowns.

UCLA is 6-2 in the Pac 12 under first year coach Jim Mora, Jr. The Bruins have losses at at home to Oregon St 27-10 and at California 43-17. UCLA has home wins over Nebraska 36-30, Houston 37-6, Utah 21-14, Arizona 66-10, and USC along with road wins at Rice 49-24, Colorado 42-14, Arizona St 45-43, and at Washington St 44-36. Like Stanford, the Bruins have won 5 straight games. UCLA is 7-4 ATS and the total is also 7-4 this season. The Bruins were 4 point underdogs against USC last week and the total was 64.5.

UCLA is averaging 488.6 yards per game including 281.2 passing yards and 207.5 rushing yards per game. The Bruins are outscoring teams 38-25 this season. UCLA is #33 or higher nationally in all offensive categories. The Bruins are +6 in turnovers with 22 giveaways. UCLA is averaging 92 penalty yards per game and has allowed 36 sacks this season. The Bruins are 73/175 on third and fourth down conversions and 48/58 scoring in the red zone with 36 touchdowns. On defense, UCLA is allowing 420.4 yards per game, including 273.2 passing and 147.2 rushing yards. The Bruins are #109 nationally in pass defense out of 124 FBS teams. UCLA has forced 40 sacks and 28 turnovers. Bruin opponents are 56/177 on third and fourth down conversions and 32/37 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns. UCLA has 4 fumble returns for touchdowns.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has completed 249 of 359 passes (69.4%) for 2,973 yards with 25 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 127 carries, 282 yards and 8 touchdowns. Running back Johnathan Franklin has 228 carries, 1,441 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus 26 catches, 290 yards and 2 touchdowns. Damien Thigpen has 50 carries, 262 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 18 catches, 211 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jordon James has 57 carries, 197 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 22 catches, 169 yards and a touchdown. Steven Manfro has 8 carries, 70 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 27 catches, 279 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a knee injury after missing the USC game. Including the running backs, 8 UCLA receivers have at least 14 catches.  Shaquelle Evans has 47 catches, 685 yards and 2 touchdowns. Joseph Fauria has 35 catches, 478 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jerry Johnson has 22 catches, 262 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Payton has 14 catches, 171 yards and a touchdown. Nine Bruins are questionable, doubtful or out Saturday.

Stanford is 4-0 ATS in November, 7-1-1 in road games against teams with winning home records, 5-1 after scoring less than 20 points, 20-5-1 after a cover, 7-2 against teams with winning records, 15-5-1 in Pac 12 games, 21-7-1 on grass, 18-7-1 in road games, 35-15-1 after a straight up win, 37-16-1 overall, and 24-16-1 after allowing less than 20 points. The under is 8-2 in the last ten in this series, including 5-0 in Pasadena. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last 6. The Cardinal are 10-4 ATS in the last 14 against the Bruins.

UCLA is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning records, and after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 13-3 at home against teams with winning road records, 7-2 at home, 6-13 after allowing more than 450 total yards, and 4-9 after a cover. The home team is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 in this series.

Both Stanford and UCLA have freshmen quarterbacks, and dynamic running backs. Neither was expected to be going for their 10th win of the season going into this game. Also, both are coming off emotional wins last week, and need to avoid a let down this week. On the surface, UCLA has nothing to play for in this game, because they have already clinched the South division title. However, UCLA can control who they play next week and both teams will already know by kickoff if Oregon St pulls off the upset of Oregon. If that is the case, then the winner of Stanford and UCLA will host the Championship game. I think it will be close, but Stanford’s defense will be the difference.

Our expert college football picks are available now. Don’t miss out on any more winners as the Bowl season fast approaches.

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Posted by on Nov 24 2012. Filed under College Football, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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