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UCLA vs Stanford Free Pick

The bright lights of Friday night NCAA football will be shining on Palo Alto, California tonight when the Stanford Cardinal hosts the UCLA Bruins for the Pac-12 championship. The Cardinal is ranked no. 8 in the nation with a record of 10-2 straight up and 8-4 against the spread. The Bruins are ranked no. 17 in the nation with a record of 9-3 straight up and 7-5 against the spread.

This all might look as if it is a rerun to you folks, but believe me you are not seeing or hearing last week’s prediction. In what is very rare for two teams to do, the Bruins and Cardinal are playing one another in back to back weekends. Last weekend, the Stanford defeated UCLA 35-17 in the regular season, and tonight the two meet for the championship of the Pac-12.  

Last week, the Stanford offense controlled the trenches in their victory over UCLA. The Cardinal ran for 221 yards. The running game for Stanford controlled the game clock and the tempo of the game giving Stanford a big time of possession advantage over UCLA.

UCLA was on a five game winning streak before their loss last weekend to Stanford. In addition, the Bruins were able to move offensively against the very strong defense of Stanford. The Bruins’ offense is run by Brett Hundley their freshman quarterback who has 26 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions on the season. However, the UCLA strength is their running game behind the 1,500 yards of Johnathan Franklin.

The key for UCLA is to finds ways for Franklin to get more yards per carry. This season he is averaging over 6 yards per run, but was held to only 3 yards per run last week against the Cardinal defense. Turnovers cost the Bruins dearly last week and helped the Cardinal to the 18-point win.

This game will be much closer than the first, as both teams are more familiar with one another. The current line has the Cardinal as the favorite by 9 points with the total points resting at 44. Even though the Cardinal won by 18 last week, I like the Bruins with the 9 points this week. Take UCLA plus the 9 and the total to cash out on the OVER.

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 College Football 2012

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