October 12, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Shaquelle Evans (1) celebrates after he runs the ball to score a touchdown against the California Golden Bears during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tough road ahead for No. 9 UCLA

The Stanford Cardinal had their national title hopes all-but eliminated on Saturday with their 27-21 loss to the Utah Utes.

The defeat saw the Cardinal fall from 5th to 13th in the polls, and the path doesn’t get any easier from there.

Stanford plays at home on Saturday against 9th ranked UCLA, and then travels to a surging Oregon State.

The Cardinal opponent this week is 5-0 on the year and 2-0 in the Pac 12 after their 37-10 trouncing of California on Saturday, and have an even tougher go of it the next couple weeks.

UCLA knows this upcoming game is huge, especially after losing twice to Stanford last year – once in the regular season and again in the Pac 12 title game.

Head coach Jim Mora Jr. spoke about his team’s preparations for the Stanford game with the LA Times’ Chris Foster.

“In the locker room after the game, there was a sense of what was coming,” Mora said. “We try to take the approach that every game carries the same value. We’re all human. When you get a chance to go play Stanford, things ramp up.”

After losing twice to them last year, it can’t be “just another game” for the Bruins.  Top that off with the fact that they play on the road again the next week against #2 Oregon, and the nation will soon find out what Mora’s Bruins are all about.

Wins at both would put UCLA right in the conversation for the national title game.

Tags: College Football Stanford Cardinal UCLA Bruins

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