By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, November 24, 2018
One of the big keys to Stanford’s Pac-12 football win over UCLA Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., was its proficiency in the big play.
The Cardinal won 49-42, thanks to an attack that included nine pass plays of 15 or more yards — four of them resulting in touchdowns.
Quarterback K.J. Costello had a big day for the Cardinal, completing 23 of 37 passes for 344 yards and a career-high five TDs. In the process, Stanford extended its winning streak over UCLA to 11 games.
Stanford (7-4 overall, 5-3 Pac-12) needed those big plays, trailing 42-41 midway through the fourth quarter. A 52-yard scoring strike from Costello to Osiris St. Brown put the Cardinal in front, with Bryce Love’s 2-point conversion run.
Then, it was the Cardinal defense’s turn, as the Bruins (3-9, 3-6) drove to the Stanford 43 with under one minute to play. But UCLA’s drive stalled and they turned the ball over on downs.
Stanford receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside caught seven passes for 106 yards – three of those catches for touchdowns. Arcega-Whiteside has 14 touchdown receptions on the season, tying a team record first set by James Lofton in 1978.
Trenton Irvin, who caught seven passes for 103 yards, also had a TD reception. Love, meanwhile, gained 85 rushing yards on 22 attempts with a touchdown.
Noteworthy was the attendance, or lack of it. An announced crowd of 38,391 watched the contest, the lowest crowd for the Bruins since 1997.
Next week, the Cardinal visits California at Berkeley after the Big Game was postponed on Nov. 17 due to the wildfires
The Stanford Cardinal made it 11 straight wins against the UCLA Bruins with a 49-42 victory at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Here are my three takeaways from Stanford at UCLA.
Cardinal offense steps up Cardinal wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had himself a day with his eighth 100-yard receiving game. As a result, Arcega-Whiteside tied for third most in Stanford history as well as the most since Mark Bradford from 2003-07.
Also, Arcega-Whiteside became the 14th Cardinal with 2,000 receiving yards. Arcega-Whiteside’s injury was a blow to the Cardinal offense, but he had to put his recovery first. Arcega-Whiteside’s recovery was extremely disappointing, but Cardinal fans were relieved to see him back in action. Party in the backfield The Cardinal jumped for joy, thanks to the party in the backfield.
After a coverage sack took the Bruins off the field, Cardinal safety Malik Antoine helped the Cardinal to a first down away from a victory in LA. Antoine’s sack happened just moments after Bruins quarterback Wilton Speight held the ball a little too long, like, say, 10-12 seconds. The Cardinal got the ball on a turnover on downs.
Keep the streak going No, I’m not talking about the 11-game winning streak against the Bruins (though, that would be lovely if the Cardinal made it 12). I’m talking about Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello’s touchdown pass streak. Costello was locked in against UCLA to say the least. Costello entered the road game with a TD pass in 15 straight games, and this game was the 16th in his book.
Costello’s TD pass early in the game tied him with John Elway for seventh most in a season in Stanford history with 24. Only Andrew Luck and Kevin Hogan have thrown more in a Cardinal season in the last 25 years.
Costello also became the sixth Cardinal with 3,000 passing yards in a season, joining Elway, Luck, Steve Sandstrom, Jan Dils and Todd Husak. In addition, Costello became the eighth Cardinal with 40 career TD passes.
Fun fact The Cardinal are 53-3 when leading after three quarters, dating back to 2012.
After this year’s Big Game was rescheduled for Dec. 1, the Stanford Cardinal had no other option, but to focus on their soon-to-be opponent, the UCLA Bruins, whom they’ll take on this Saturday inside the Rose Bowl.
Here’s what you need to know about Stanford-UCLA:
Basics Stanford Cardinal (6-4, 4-3) UCLA Bruins (3-8, 3-5) Nov. 24, 2018 at Noon PT Rose Bowl (90,888) in Pasadena, Calif.
Television Live national broadcast on Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Yogi Roth (analyst) and Jill Savage (sideline).
Radio Live coverage on Stanford’s flagship station–KNBR 1050 AM–with Scott Reiss ’93 (play-by-play), Todd Husak ’00 (analyst) and Troy Clardy ’97 (sideline). The broadcast begins one hour before kickoff with the Cardinal Tailgate Show and concludes with the postgame Cardinal Locker Room Report.
1 • Stanford is 6-0 this season when forcing at least one turnover, and 0-4 when not forcing a turnover.
3 • Stanford football players have conducted interviews in three foreign languages this season—JJ Arcega-Whiteside (Spanish), Jesse Burkett (Japanese) and Osiris St. Brown (German). All other Stanford football interviews this year have been done in English.
3 • Kaden Smith is one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award, joining T.J. Hockenson (Iowa), Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri). The winner will be announced on Dec. 5.
4 • Stanford’s four losses this season have come against the AP’s curent No. 3, No. 7, No. 16 and No. 18th-ranked teams in the nation (Notre Dame, Washington State, Washington, Utah). Those four teams have a combined record of 37-7 (.841) this season.
4 • Colby Parkinson tied a school single-game record with four touchown receptions against Oregon State on Nov. 10. The only other Cardinal to pull off that feat was Ty Montgomery against Cal in 2013 and Ken Margerum against the Beavers in 1980. Parkinson is the first FBS tight end with four touchdown catches in a game since 2011 (Northwestern’s Drake Dunsmore), and just the fifth to do so since 1996. Parkinson also finished with a career-high six receptions and 166 receiving yards— the most receiving yards by a Cardinal tight end since Coby Fleener’s 173-yard game in the 2011 Orange Bowl.
7 • The last time a Cardinal had seven-plus receptions in three straight games was DeRonnie Pitts in 2000. This season, Trent Irwin and JJ Arcega-Whiteside each had seven-plus receptions in the same three-game span (Utah, Arizona State and Washington).
8 • Parkinson was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after his four-touchdown performance against Oregon State. Since it was established in 1983, Parkinson is just the eighth tight end to win the conference’s weekly offensive award, and the first since Stanford’s Zach Ertz in 2012.
10 • Stanford has won a series-record 10 consecutive games over the Bruins, dating back to 2009 and including the 2012 Pac-12 Championship Game. It is the all-time longest winning streak by any opponent against the Bruins.
11 • Biletnikoff Award semifinalist JJ Arcega-Whiteside ranks fifth nationally–and first among Pac-12 players–with 11 receiving touchdowns. That’s the second-most in a season in Stanford history and the most receiving touchdowns for a Cardinal in 38 years–Ken Margerum had 11 in 1980, while James Lofton set the school record with 14 in 1978.
13 • In addition to his 49 receptions and 754 receiving yards this season, Arcega-Whiteside has drawn 14 penalties this year–12 pass interference and two holding calls for 190 penalty yards (1.6 penalties/game and 21.1 penalty yards/game).
15 • Paulson Adebo ranks second nationally with 16 pass breakups and sixth in the NCAA with 17 passes defended. He ranks atop the Pac-12 in both categories.
20 • K.J. Costello ranks among the Top 20 nationally in completion percentage (12th), completions per game (15th), passing efficiency (18th), passing touchdowns (20th), passing yards (17th), passing yards per game (13th) and yards per attempt (17th). He leads the Pac-12 in efficiency (156.9) and is second in the conference in passing yards (2,854) and yards per attempt (8.65).
21 • Stanford’s seniors finished their careers 20-5 (.800) at Stanford Stadium. In the last four years, the Cardinal has won 37 games, three Big Games, two Pac-12 North titles, a conference championship, and has played in the Rose Bowl, Sun Bowl and Alamo Bowl.
25 • Don’t expect many points immediately after halftime. Stanford has allowed just one touchdown and never more than seven points in the third quarter this season. The Cardinal has only allowed 25 third-quarter points in its first 10 games (2.5/game). The only touchdown allowed was vs. Washington State.
37 • Trenton Irwin has at least one reception in 38 consecutive games, a streak that ranks seventh nationally.
43.64 • Jake Bailey’s 43.64 career punting average ranks first in program history. Bailey posted the second-best punting season in school history last year, averaging 45.4 yards/punt. He led the Pac-12 and ranked seventh nationally.
121 • The 121st Big Game was rescheduled due to the poor air quality caused by the devastating wildfires in Butte County. The game will be played on Dec. 1 at noon on Pac-12 Network. Cal is Stanford’s most common opponent (next is USC with 98 all-time meetings). Stanford’s 63 wins over the Bears are also its most against any opponent.
387 • Costello’s 387 yards of total offense (45 rush, 342 pass) vs. Oregon State on Nov. 10 were the most for a Cardinal since Josh Nunes had 393 against Arizona in 2012, and 14th-most in school history.
According to reports that are being attributed to an anonymous source, the Sacramento Kings have signed veteran point guard Jordan Farmar to a one-year contract. David Pick who follows players from the USA who are playing in Europe was the first to report the signing. Farmar played in Turkey and in Israel before returning in the Spring for the end of the NBA season.
Farmar played the waning days of the 2015-16 season for Kings head coach Dave Joerger in Memphis. In 12 regular season games, he averaged 9.2 points, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 24 minutes of playing time per game. Farmar started four playoff games for the Grizzlies as well.
The Kings were looking to add depth at the point guard position because of the uncertainty that surrounds the status of Darren Collison. Collison who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery will face discipline and most likely time off from the NBA but that has yet to be announced. The Kings obviously believe the suspension will be long enough that a back-up to the recently signed Ty Lawson was needed.
Farmar is a nine-year NBA veteran who has played for the Lakers, Nets, Clippers and Grizzlies. He has averaged 7.7 points, 2.9 assists and 0.8 assists per game for his career. Farmar was a first-round draft selection (26th overall) in 2006. He played his college basketball at UCLA.
Farmar is known as a guard that can score and distribute the ball. Quickness has always been a hallmark of his game but at 29-years-old that quality may be a bit diminished. Farmar has very good leaping ability on defense.
PASADENA, Calif. — The danger of relying on a high-octane offense to win games is that sometimes, that offense inexplicably fails to produce enough points.
Such was the case for the No. 20 Cal Bears on Thursday night as they were routed 40-24 by the unranked UCLA Bruins in front of 57,026 at the Rose Bowl.
Jared Goff, who has put himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation with an excellent season thus far, was thoroughly outplayed by UCLA’s freshman quarterback Josh Rosen despite the Bruins missing three all-conference candidates on defense and giving up 124 points in their past three games.
Rosen threw for nearly 400 yards, completing 34 of 47 passes for three touchdowns. Goff, meanwhile, had 295 yards and also threw for three touchdowns, but completed just 32 of 53 passes.
“You’ve got to give UCLA a lot of credit,” said head coach Sonny Dykes. “They came out and played a very aggressive, physical brand of football. Obviously, we didn’t perform as well as we needed to. We had 12 days to prepare and we didn’t do a very good job getting our guys ready to play. We never got into a flow.”
No Cal wide receiver or running back had more than 63 yards of offense, while UCLA had two receivers reach the century mark – Thomas Duarte and Kevin Fuller, who combined to catch three Bruins’ touchdowns.
Goff attributed the struggles to not being able to establish the run. Cal finished with just 131 yards on the ground.
“When you can’t run the ball effectively, it doesn’t help,” said Goff. “In order to set up the pass game, you have to run the ball and we weren’t able to do that as well as we would like to.”
With a two-score lead at halftime, the Bruins blew the game wide open in the third quarter. Right out of the half, UCLA took under three minutes to march 80 yards down the field and find the end zone on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Rosen to Fuller to take a 33-10 lead.
After the Bears kept themselves alive with a touchdown drive, the Bruins responded with a heavy dose of Jomabo, whose one-yard touchdown gave UCLA 40 points on the night.
“We just didn’t do a good job of getting off the field,” said Dykes. “Throughout the game, we had opportunities to intercept passes. Against good football teams, we have to make those. We didn’t do a good job of keeping [Rosen] hemmed in. We broke tackles, we lost contain. Things we haven’t done all year, we did tonight.
“We’ve tackled well this year. We did not tackle well early in the ball game. We didn’t play physical on offense or defense. We’ve got to get back to playing physical football.”
The two teams traded field goals on their respective opening drives, with Cal’s first possession stalling inside the Bruins’ 10-yard line.
UCLA jumped ahead with the game’s first touchdown late in the quarter when Rosen and the Bruins advanced rapidly down the field on a 13-play, 70-yard drive. Rosen found a wide-open Duarte in the right corner of the end zone to give UCLA a 10-3 lead after the first quarter.
The Bruins extended the lead on their first drive of the second quarter. Rosen again marched UCLA down the field with a 90-yard, 10-play drive that took just three and a half minutes. A 23-yard catch and run by Soso Jamabo, who had all kinds of room down the left side, set up a 19-yard touchdown pass to Devin Fuller for a 17-3 Bruins advantage.
“We had too many missed tackles, too many lost leverages, too many missed assignments and misalignments,” said linebacker Hardy Nickerson.
He continued: “[Rosen] was doing a lot of play fakes and passes. He read us well. He played very well.”
A failed fake punt attempt on the ensuing by the Bears added insult to injury, with the Bruins taking over at the Cal 29-yard line and adding on another field goal.
Cal finally found its offense late in the half. Golf broke a string of five consecutive incompletions with a 36-yard completion to Darius Powe down to the UCLA four-yard line. On second and goal, Kenny Lawler made a tremendous leaping catch for a one-yard touchdown.
But Bruins’ placekicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, who made four field goals in the first half alone, nailed a 60-yard kick to end the half and give UCLA a 26-10 lead.
After a competitive loss to No. 3 Utah last game, the Bears were playing from behind all night long Thursday. Two straight losses will likely drop their ranking and set them back in the Pac-12 standings, but given the volatile conference, they are far from out of contention for the Pac-12 championship game.
Cal will head back home and prepare for USC next Saturday, and they promise they will put on a better performance.
“Every week’s a different challenge,” said Dykes. “Our guys are hurt and not happy with the way we performed. We’ll come back with better sense of purpose and we’ll play well against USC.”
Added Goff: “We’re going to fix it. I promise you we’re going to fix it. It’s going to be a different team Saturday.”
Cal has dropped 11 straight games to USC and is 30-67-5 all-time against the Trojans.