By Samuel Curry
Most fans knew a quarterback wearing number three would lead an effective offensive attack at Stanford Stadium Saturday.
They just didn’t know he’d be wearing Cardinal red.
The Stanford Cardinal (2-2, 1-1 Pac-12), behind an offense led for the majority of the game by sophomore quarterback K.J. Costello, captured a decisive 58-34 win against the UCLA Bruins (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12) Saturday night at Stanford Stadium. The win marks Stanford’s tenth straight victory against UCLA.
The game started slowly for both teams, and after senior quarterback Keller Chryst stayed down after getting hit on a 5-yard run in the first quarter, the mood was less than optimistic in Stanford Stadium.
That would soon change as K.J. Costello led two touchdown drives and breathed life into a Stanford offense that had not showed any since the first half of the USC game two weeks ago. Costello finished the game 13-for-19 with 123 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored a touchdown on the ground, diving for the pylon against four UCLA defenders for the nine-yard score.
Stanford would maintain a comfortable lead the entire second half behind a monster performance from junior running back Bryce Love, who finished the game with 263 yards on the ground, a career-high for him and just 21 yards from the Stanford single-game record held by Christian McCaffrey.
Love was not the only running back with an impressive statline however, as junior Cameron Scarlett ran for 86 yards and punched in three rushing touchdowns for the Cardinal. Stanford finished with 405 rushing yards as a team.
As for the receiving corps, junior J.J. Arcega-Whiteside led Stanford with five catches for 62 yards, while junior Trenton Irwin hauled in the second touchdown reception of his career over a UCLA defender and finished with 33 yards. Senior tight end Dalton Schultz also caught a touchdown on an errant throw from Costello that Schultz somehow saved from the ground with one hand.
The Stanford defense had a disappointing performance on paper, allowing UCLA to gain a total of 595 yards and junior quarterback Josh Rosen to go 40-of-60 for 480 yards and three touchdowns, but it forced the Bruins to commit four turnovers, and it came through when the Cardinal needed it: holding UCLA to a season-low 34 points.
Next week, the Bruins will face off against the Colorado Buffaloes in Los Angeles while the Cardinal will play host to the Arizona State Sun Devils at Stanford Stadium, a team that will be fresh off a 37-35 win against No. 24 Oregon. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Contact Sam Curry at currys ‘at’ stanford.edu.