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    No. 25 UCLA looks to get back on track at Stanford
    • October 20, 2023

    UCLA and Stanford will compete in the 95th game of their football series that started in 1925. It may also be their last for some time.

    In 2024, both teams will go their separate ways as UCLA (4-2 overall, 1-2 Pac-12) heads to the Big Ten Conference and Stanford (2-4, 1-3) will join the ACC conference.

    The rivalry has always carried a level of intrigue since 2018 because of the friendship and level of respect between UCLA coach Chip Kelly and former Stanford coach David Shaw.

    Shaw will not be on the opposing sideline this season after he decided to resign in late November after 12 seasons at his alma mater. What’s more, Shaw has been seen wearing blue and gold this year as his son, Carter Shaw, joined the Bruins as a preferred walk-on receiver this season.

    Following Shaw’s resignation, Downey native Troy Taylor was hired away from Sacramento State, where he went 30-8 in three seasons, to oversee the Cardinal.

    “I don’t know Troy very well at all,” Kelly said of the former Utah offensive coordinator (2017-18). “I’ve met him at league meetings but I don’t know him that way. … I have a lot of respect for Troy and he did an unbelievable job at Sacramento State and he’s doing a really good job now.”

    Taylor and the Cardinal are coming off a 46-43 come-from-behind double-overtime victory against the Colorado Buffaloes last week.

    When UCLA has the ball

    Quarterback Dante Moore has thrown six of his seven interceptions throughout the first three games of conference play, including a pick-6 in the first half of each of those games.

    There’s no indication Kelly will send someone other than Moore out to be the starter this week.

    “The quarterback is a very talented guy,” Taylor said. “He’s young and you see him growing, but he has a lot of ability.”

    The Bruins tried to get backup quarterback Collin Schlee involved on offense and did find some success with the use of his mobility in last week’s Oregon State loss before he suffered an upper-body injury and did not return.

    Schlee was not seen at practice early in the week and it appears unlikely that he will play Saturday. It remains unclear if Kelly will look to deploy any other quarterbacks to complement Moore this week.

    The Bruins could benefit running the ball against a Stanford defense that’s allowed 4.61 yards per carry and 138.2 rushing yards per game.

    Led by Carson Steele’s 110 yards on 22 carries, UCLA rushed for 287 yards last week, but Kelly was not satisfied with the performance.

    “We need to be more consistent rushing the football,” Kelly said. “There were a lot of big runs, but I think we left some meat on the bone and we need to be more consistent in all phases of what we’re doing on offense right now.”

    When Stanford has the ball

    The UCLA defense has been fairly consistent this season, but Oregon State provided its biggest challenge last week, producing 415 total yards and three receiving touchdowns.

    The Bruins were also limited to just two sacks and a forced fumble last week. Linebacker Oluwafemi Oladejo and safety Kamari Ramsey led the defense with eight tackles each. Oladejo also had the fumble recovery and a pass breakup. Edge rusher Laiatu Latu had four tackles and 0.5 sacks.

    The defense will have to get back on track and apply pressure to rattle first-year starting quarterback Ashton Daniels.

    “They have one of the best defensive lines in our conference,” Taylor said. “(Latu) is really good.”

    Daniels threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns against Colorado. Both were season highs. The sophomore quarterback also served as the Cardinal’s leading rusher with 39 yards on 16 carries.

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    Wide receiver Elic Ayomanor also had a breakout game with 13 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns. No other receiver had more than four receptions in the win.

    “He played really fast (against Colorado),” Taylor said about Ayomanor. “We always knew he had the potential to do that. A lot of it is just confidence. … This is something he can build upon.”

    No. 25 UCLA (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) at Stanford (2-4, 1-3)

    When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Stanford Stadium

    TV/radio: ESPN/570 AM

    ​ Orange County Register