Stanford Shuts Out UCLA

This was a different Stanford defense. Yes, the Cardinal took on a UCLA team with a hobbled offensive line and quarterback, but en route to a 35-0 victory, Stanford's oft-maligned defense showed a degree of aggression and intensity rarely seen on The Farm in recent years.

With sound tackling, strong pass coverage, and four turnovers to boot, Stanford (2-0, 1-0) allowed UCLA (0-2, 0-1) only 233 yards of total offense on its way to the Card's first road shutout since 1974.

The 35-point win, Stanford's largest over UCLA since 1929, also gave the Cardinal its first shutout over UCLA since 1941.

But though the final margin of victory was significant, the score stayed close for most of the first three quarters.

After UCLA and Stanford traded three and outs on their opening series, Stanford's ball control offense imposed its will on the third drive of the game. With Luck using his feet to pick up several critical first downs along the way, the Cardinal punctuated a 61-yard touchdown drive with a 16-yard Ryan Whalen completion to go up 7-0.

Although UCLA had some success running out of the pistol offense, Stanford's defense was dominant for most of the first half, forcing a pair of turnovers while holding the Bruins to 105 yards of total offense.

Stanford's offense continued to have success moving the ball during the latter stages of the opening half, but the Card left several points on the board by settling for two short field goals. Entering halftime, Stanford held a 13-0 lead.

The second half saw more of the same. After All-American place-kicker Kai Forbath missed a 49 yard field goal on the half's opening drive, the Cardinal went on an 18 play touchdown drive that ate up 9:25 of precious clock. When an apparent Luck rushing touchdown was overturned by instant replay, two-way warrior Owen Marecic plunged in from a yard out to give Stanford a 19-0 lead. Luck found Doug Baldwin on the ensuing two-point conversion to make it 21-0.

Then, on the first play of UCLA's ensuing possession, with the Bruins needing a touchdown to have any realistic hope of getting back in the game, safety Michael Thomas ripped the ball out of UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince's hands and sprinted to paydirt to put Stanford up 28-0.

The Card tacked on one last touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to make the score 35-0 before the reserves entered the contest to preserve a satisfying shutout.

Sophomore running back Stepfan Taylor led the Stanford rushing attack, which picked up 211 yards on the day, with 81 yards on 20 carries. Luck was only 11/24 through the air, but he did rush for 63 yards on seven carries. Doug Baldwin was the Card's leading receiver, hauling in three balls for 50 yards on the day.

With the Vic Fangio era off to quite the promising start, The Bootleg will be with you every step of the way to break down all the news and goods in the world of Stanford football. Stay tuned for more reaction and analysis from Pasadena following an impressive early season conference victory.

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