(AP) No. 13 Stanford smothers Hundley, No. 9 UCLA 24-10
By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer
Tyler Gaffney ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 13 Stanford smothered Brett Hundley and ninth-ranked UCLA 24-10 on Saturday.
Kevin Hogan threw for 227 yards and a spectacular touchdown to Kodi Whitfield as the Cardinal (6-1, 4-1) regrouped again after losing at Utah last week. Stanford has not lost consecutive games since October 2009.
Stanford hurried Hundley all afternoon to slow down UCLA’s up-tempo offense.
Hundley completed 24 of 39 passes for 192 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions to Jordan Richards _ the second with a little more than 2 minutes remaining to seal Stanford’s victory. UCLA (5-1, 2-1) has not started 6-0 since 2005.
The Cardinal came out on top again in a rematch of last season’s Pac-12 title game and showed they’re not bowing out of the conference race. Stanford has won six straight over UCLA, including three times in the last year, and 14 in a row against teams from California.
The Bruins entered the game averaging 45.8 points per game. That ranked second in the Pac-12 behind Oregon, which hosts UCLA next week before traveling to Stanford on Nov. 7 in matchups that will likely decide the Pac-12’s championship game.
Stanford, which had its 13-game winning streak snapped in Salt Lake City last week, showed just why it has been so tough to keep down the last four years.
The Cardinal outgained UCLA 419 to 266 yards, won the time of possession 37:11 to 22:49 and made big the play when it mattered most again.
With Hundley and UCLA’s offense taking the field late with 2:57 remaining, the Cardinal hurried Hundley twice before Richards dove for his second interception after receiver Thomas Duarte fell down. Gaffney capped off a quick Stanford drive with a 4-yard TD run that put the game out of reach.
Devon Cajuste caught seven passes for 109 yards for Stanford before leaving with a right leg injury early in the fourth quarter. UCLA also lost a key player, with inside linebacker Eric Kendricks taken to the hospital for tests on his kidney after making nine tackles in the first half.
It was not immediately clear what caused Kendricks’ kidney issue.
The Cardinal controlled the flow from the start but missed opportunities in the first half to ahead big.
Ty Montgomery dropped a deep pass near the goal line on Stanford’s first drive. The Cardinal later lost 10 yards on first-and-goal when they fumbled a pitch, and Ishmael Adams intercepted Hogan’s pass at UCLA’s 6-yard line in the final minute of the half when Cajuste bobbled the ball into his Adams’ arms.
But Stanford’s scoring erupted with one of the most spectacular plays of the season.
While running to his right on a post route, Whitfield leaped in the air and reached back to make a backhanded catch with his right hand between two defenders. The 30-yard TD reception put Stanford up 10-3 and left most of the crowd “oohing” every time the replay was shown on the video boards.
On UCLA’s next drive, Stanford forced a turnover for the 32nd straight game _ the second-longest streak in the country _ when Richards intercepted Hundley’s pass. Richards’ return for a touchdown was called back because of a holding penalty.
Cajuste caught a leaping 34-yard pass at UCLA’s 2 on third down. And three plays later, Gaffney ran for a short TD to put the Cardinal up 17-3 late in the third quarter.
Hundley regrouped to lead UCLA on an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive. He capped it off with a 3-yard TD pass to Shaquelle Evans that sliced Stanford’s lead to 17-10 early in the fourth.
Hundley and the Bruins never looked so smooth again. Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a tying 38-yard field on the opening drive of the second half for UCLA’s only other score.