Beat up Stanford humbled by UCLA, 34-16, ending 11-game win streak

By Morris Phillips

STANFORD — Good things come to an end, but they don’t normally end this badly.

Stanford was humbled by UCLA Thursday night as third string quarterback Jack West had a debut start to forget. With starter K.J. Costello and backup Davis Mills both unavailable due to injuries, West made his initial college start behind an inexperienced, shuffled offensive line and was forced into comeback mode throughout. West was sacked five times in the first half alone as Stanford fell behind 21-10 at halftime.

“It’s me making my first start but at the end of the day, it’s about execution, which is what we didn’t have,” West said.

Stanford hadn’t started three quartebacks in the same season since 1974. They hadn’t lost to UCLA since 2008, ending an 11-game win streak against the Bruins. And no 2019 UCLA opponents had so little success against Chip Kelly’s rebuilding team overwhelmingly comprised of freshmen and sophomores.

But on Thursday, given the injuries, Stanford was the more inexperienced group.

Now, Stanford faces the very real possibility that they might miss a bowl invitation for the first time under Coach David Shaw.

The Cardinal appeared to come up with the big play they needed in the first half when Spencer Jorgensen blocked a punt and Brycen Tremayne recovered it in the end zone to cut UCLA’s lead to 14-10, but the Bruins kept the Cardinal off the scoreboard after that, only surrendering a Cameron Scarlett rushing touchdown in the game’s final minutes.

Stanford’s only lead came after the game’s opening drive on a 42-yard field goal. But Toner was injured on the ensuing kickoff and did not return.

UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson enjoyed his best overall effort, passing for 192 yards and running for 66 more. Joshua Kelley contributed a pair of 50-yard runs, one for a touchdown, and the Bruins enjoyed a rare rout.

“Dorian kept drives alive with his legs. He takes what the defense gives him,” Kelly said of his starting quarterback.

In a 1-5 start to the season, UCLA hadn’t led a game by more than a touchdown until Thompson-Robinson connected with Kyle Phillips late in the first to put the Bruins up 14-3. Phillips, often deployed against a safety in a slot formation, finished with 10 catches for 100 yards.

Stanford (3-4, 2-3) now has nine days to prepare for their October 26 home against Arizona.

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