Bryce Love runs for 263 yards to lead Stanford past UCLA
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Bryce Love didn’t put up much of a fight to stay in and take a shot at Stanford’s school record for rushing.
The Pac-12’s top running back was even more hesitant to take credit for what he did to keep the Cardinal’s lengthy win streak against UCLA going.
Love rushed for a career-high 263 yards and a touchdown to pad his conference-leading total, third-string quarterback K.J. Costello came off the bench and threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Stanford beat UCLA 58-34 on Saturday.
”I try to take pride in seeing things before it happens, being able to read blocks and taking it to that second level of seeing blocks that haven’t really happened yet,” Love said. ”Trying to set things up like that is big with me. I’m just taking what’s there.”
Cameron Scarlett scored three touchdowns and Jet Toner kicked three field goals to help the Cardinal (1-1 Pac-12, 2-2) win their 10th straight over the Bruins after losing starting quarterback Keller Chryst to an injury in the first quarter.
Ryan Burns replaced Chryst for one series and made two other brief appearances but it was Costello who directed Stanford’s offense most of the night. The redshirt sophomore had a 9-yard touchdown run in the first half then had scoring throws of 15 yards and three yards in the second half, the first two of Costello’s career.
Costello finished 13 of 19 for 123 yards to outduel UCLA’s Josh Rosen.
”That game was Stanford football, the reason I came here,” Costello said.
The nation’s leading passer going in, Rosen got off to a sluggish start and was uneven much of the night for the Bruins (0-1, 2-2). He completed 40 of 60 throws for 480 yards with two interceptions and three touchdowns, although two of the TDs came in the second half when Stanford was comfortably ahead.
”It’s just the turnovers, and especially when the turnovers happened,” Rosen said. ”I could have played better. I missed a few things early.”
Love’s pounding runs hurt UCLA the most. The Pac-12’s leading rusher averaged nearly 175 yards in his first three games and easily eclipsed that against the Bruins. Love would have topped the 300-yard mark but a holding penalty negated his 48-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
”It was good to come out here and see the fruits of our labor,” Love said. ”It’s weird for me that I end up getting a lot of the notice for it. At the end of the day I’m just running.”
The 263 yards are the second-most in one game in Stanford history. Christian McCaffrey ran for 284 yards against California on Nov. 19, 2016.
”Bryce is one of the best players in America,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. ”It’s not just statistically, it’s the film. There are not many guys like him.”
Stanford got plenty of help from its defense and special teams. The Cardinal forced four turnovers and blocked a field goal.
”It’s an incredibly disappointing feeling for all of us,” UCLA coach Jim More said. ”A lot of things were going right and then all of a sudden it goes wrong. I still believe great things will happen for us and they will.”
Chryst was knocked out of the game after getting tackled between a pair of UCLA defenders while running on a quarterback keeper.
Three players were ejected for targeting. UCLA’s Adarius Pickett was thrown out in the first half after a call that had Bruins coach Jim Mora screaming on the sidelines. In the third quarter Stanford cornerback Alijah Holder was also tossed for targeting. Cardinal safety Ben Edwards was called for the same penalty on the next play but it was overturned upon review.
UCLA: A year ago the Bruins had Stanford on the ropes most of the game before allowing 13 points over the final 24 seconds. It wasn’t that close this time, primarily because UCLA’s defense continued to give up big plays both against the run and through the air. Rosen’s slow start and the overall ineffectiveness of the offense also hurt.
Stanford: The Cardinal were coming off an emotional loss to San Diego State that raised questions about the quarterback situation. There is still an issue there now but it’s a more optimistic one after the night Costello had. Credit Stanford’s defense with keeping Rosen off balance by mixing up the coverages and varying their blitzes to keep the UCLA quarterback from getting comfortable in the pocket.
UCLA: The Bruins return home to host Colorado on Saturday night.
Stanford: The Cardinal take on Arizona State next weekend.