The 17th-ranked UCLA Bruins host No. 8 Stanford in a game that will have some impact on the Pac-12 Championship Game. It could have an adverse impact on the Pac-12's bowl revenue, too.
Stanford pulled off the upset of Oregon last week to take control of the North, while UCLA did the same against USC to win the South division. These two teams could play each other again next week to determine the champion and who plays in the Rose Bowl.
Stanford will likely know if it needs to win this game to claim the North title, as the Oregon vs. Oregon State game should be finished around kickoff time.
Additional ramifications of this game are included below.
When: Saturday, Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Listen: Free Football Radio
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Spread: Stanford -2 (odds via OddsShark)
Stanford presents an elite defense to square off with a good UCLA offense. The edge goes to the Cardinal here.
On the other side of the ball, a decent Cardinal offense will take on a good UCLA defense. Stanford should be able to score just enough to outpace the Bruins.
This figure assumes the Bruins will be able to put up some points on the Cardinal, a feat the Ducks couldn't accomplish last week.
Points could be tough for both teams to find. Stanford has only surrendered 57 points combined over the last five games.
Injury Report (via USA Today as of Wednesday, Nov. 21)
Geoff Meinken, FB, Out (Knee)
SJ Merc News reports Stanford NT Terrence Stephens will miss UCLA game, 'personal reasons.' News came post- practice so I haven't confirmed— David Lombardi (@davidmlombardi) November 22, 2012
Darius Bell SB, Questionable (Ankle)
Kenneth Walker, WR, Questionable (Concussion)
Steven Manfro, RB, Questionable (Knee)
Devin Lucien, WR, Questionable (Collarbone)
Damien Thigpen, WR, Out (Knee)
Providing Oregon beats Oregon State, Stanford will need to beat UCLA to advance to the title game. A win by the Bruins would send them to Eugene in the Pac-12 title game. Stanford would then be in line for the Pac's No. 2 or No. 3 bowl game.
The Pac-12 would likely land just one team in a BCS game under this scenario.
If UCLA loses, then Stanford would win the North division and host the Bruins next week. Oregon would then be placed in one of the other BCS bowl games with UCLA or Stanford playing in the Rose Bowl.
The Pac-12 shares bowl game revenues among the schools. Thus, a win by UCLA on Saturday could cost each athletic program upwards of $1.5 million.
Thus, if Oregon wins on Saturday the Bruins are in a lose/lose situation.
The good news for the conference is Stanford has won the last five in this series.
Keys for Stanford Victory
Kevin Hogan has played will since taking over the quarterback duties. He was poised in the pocket against Oregon and helped key the win.
UCLA will need to pressure Hogan and not let him get comfortable in a pocket. If the Bruins fail to do so it could be a long day.
Keys for UCLA Victory
The Bruins need to get their ground game going against the tough Stanford defense. Oregon had very little success jump-starting its elite rushing attack last week.
Stanford's defensive ends are quick enough to push the play out and the corners are good in run support. UCLA needs to consider running a few trap plays and play action to keep Stanford's corners from cheating in.
A balanced offense will be needed to move the ball on Stanford.
Stanford's defense should be the difference in this game. They've been very stingy with points this season with the exception of surrendering 48 points to Arizona.
The Cardinal are a top 10 offense and will need to play like it.
Both offenses can put up points, but expect Stanford to focus on ball control and avoiding mistakes. It will be difficult for UCLA to win if Stanford plays a clean game.
Predicted Score: Stanford 27, UCLA 20
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.
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