September 11, 2010

Quick Reads: UCLA (2010)

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By The Daily Axe Staff
The exterior of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Cal...
The site of tonight’s game, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California (Image via Wikipedia)

Here are some immediate points about Stanford’s game tonight in Pasadena:

  • Andrew Luck through the ball poorly (11-24 for 151 yards) but didn’t throw a pick and made great decisions as the leader of the offense. Luck looked good running with the ball, which we saw little of last year. The quarterback picked up 63 yards on the ground and was the Card’s second-leading runner.
  • The #1 rusher, RB Stepfan Taylor, picked up 82 yards on 20 carries. He looks to be pulling away as the top running option for Stanford, although don’t look for Harbaugh & Co. to go away from the back-by-committee approach. Stanford accumulated a solid 211 rushing yards (UCLA as a team managed only 233 total).
  • The defense looked great. UCLA didn’t score a single point and committed 4 turnovers, one of which was a fumble that Michael Thomas returned 21 yards for a touchdown. All of this went down without Stanford’s best defensive player, Shayne Skov.
  • Stanford converted a solid 56% of 3rd down attempts.
  • No Cardinal turnovers is always a good sign.
  • Finding a way to win without an excellent performance from Andrew Luck is key. Even though the Bruins are not a top PAC-10 squad, this win bodes well for Stanford’s Rose Bowl aspirations.
  • This was the first Stanford win in Pasadena since 1996.
  • UCLA looks like a terrible football team.
  • Levine Toilolo was missed. A nice check-down option at tight end would have saved Luck from having to tuck the ball and run 7 times.
  • Stanford’s opponent next week, Wake Forest, barely beat the perennially horrible Duke Blue Devils.

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The Daily Axe Staff
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