17-20 Cardinal Lose
A tough beat for a reeling Stanford team, as a darkness delay sparked a last-minute touchdown drive for the Aztecs, who are flying high after defeating two consecutive PAC 12 opponents. The Cardinal have now strung two losses together, unable to find an answer for the steady, clock-grinding drives of the Aztecs.
Passing Game Implodes
A team that runs for 7.9 yards per carry on 22 attempts ought to be able to score more or less at will, but Stanford was entirely one dimensional. The Cardinal averaged only 3.8 yards per pass, and tacked on two interceptions and a sack fumble to leave no doubt who was to blame for the disappointing offensive showing. It wouldn’t have taken much to bring down the Aztecs, but Stanford barely did anything at all.
Defense Bends, then Breaks
After putting together drive after drive of smothering, effective defense, allowing only one 15 yard touchdown drive (thanks to an interception) all the way up until there were 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter. That’s the moment the Cardinal picked to allow San Diego State to put together a methodical, 11 play, 75 yard drive for a touchdown that left less than a minute on the clock. With so little time remaining, Stanford had to rely on their passing game to win… and they lost.
UCLA visits the Cardinal in a compelling strength-vs-weakness matchup, with the Bruins’ nonexistent run defense opposed to Stanford’s lethal running game. Josh Rosen will have his hands full with the Stanford defense- the first time this season he plays a top-tier defensive foe.