Factors in the Stanford Game

With its last-second win over Arizona last week, Stanford is a bit of a surprise this season, and the UCLA game is a must-win for the Cardinal if it hopes to be bowl eligible. UCLA, though, has dominated the series recently, with Stanford currently scoreless at the Rose Bowl in its last 10 quarters...

-- The Stanford Cardinal come to the Rose Bowl Saturday for a kick-off at 1:00. The game will be televised locally by FSN West, with Bill Macdonald and James Washington in the booth.

-- You could make a case that Stanford is the surprise of the Pac-10, currently at 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference. They've beaten Oregon State (36-28), San Jose State (23-10), Washington in Seattle (35-28) and Arizona (24-23). They've lost at Arizona State (41-17), at TCU (31-14) and at Notre Dame (28-21).

-- Last week, the Cardinal had a big win over Arizona, overtaking the Wildcats on a touchdown with 25 seconds left, capping an 11-play, 60-yard game-winning drive led by back-up quarterback Alex Loukas, who replaced Tavita Pritchard, sidelined with a mild concussion.

-- The Bruins and Cardinal meet for the 79th time in the series which dates back to 1925, with the two teams having met every year consecutively since 1946. UCLA leads the series, 44-31-3, with UCLA having victories in four of the last five meetings. UCLA also has won the last five straight match-ups in the Rose Bowl.

-- In fact, the last time Stanford beat UCLA in the Rose Bowl was in 1996, 21-20.

-- Last season, UCLA opened the season at Stanford, to break in the Jim Harbaugh era at Stanford, with UCLA coming away with a 45-17 win.

-- UCLA has shut out Stanford in its last two meetings at the Rose Bowl, in 2006 (31-0) and in 2004 (21-0). -- Stanford hasn't scored a point in the Rose Bowl since the second quarter of the game in 2002 (which UCLA won 28-18). So, the Cardinal hasn't scored in the last 10 quarters its played at the Rose Bowl.

-- Stanford started out the 2005 season 4-3, and then finished 5-6.

-- A win Saturday would give the Cardinal its best eight-game start since the 2001 season, when it finished 9-3. A win would also give Stanford its first 4-1 start in the conference since 2001.

-- Stanford is coached by Jim Harbaugh, in his second season on The Farm. Last season he went 4-8 and 3-6, and included among those wins was perhaps the biggest upset in the history of college football when the Cardinal beat #1-ranked USC at the Coliseum. Harbaugh came to Stanford from the University of San Diego and, of course, played quarterback at Michigan and in the NFL predominantly for the Chicago Bears. He has infused the Stanford program with some energy, and is recruiting well, currently ranked #12 nationally in Scout.com's on-going rankings for 2009.

-- UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel owns a 3-0 record against Stanford as a head coach, with each of those three wins coming while he was the head coach at Washington.

-- Stanford is 1-3 on the road this season, with its one win coming against winless Washington.

-- The feeling around The Farm is that the UCLA game is a must-win if the Cardinal hopes to get bowl eligible this season, since it finishes off the season playing Oregon, USC and Cal.

-- Fifteen of UCLA's players have made their first career stars this season. A total of 28 players saw the first action of their career.

-- UCLA has had 11 true freshmen play so far this season, one shy of the school record of 12 that played in the 2004 season (2007-2; 2006-8; 2005-9). UCLA has also played 10 redshirt freshmen this season.

-- The Bruins are 24-2 when they win the turnover battle over the last five-plus seasons. In that same time, it is 13-30 when it loses the turnover battle, including 1-4 so far this season.

-- Last week against Arizona, Stanford back-up quarterback Jason Forcier played for the Cardinal, and UCLA back-up quarterback Chris Forcier played against Oregon. Chris is Jason's younger brother.

-- UCLA is favored by 2.5.

-- The weather calls for a bit of cooling by Saturday, with a high in Pasadena of 80 degrees for Saturday.

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