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Stanford Cardinal play 'real football,' UCLA WR says

Bob Stanton / USA Today Sports
Stanford safety Jordan Richards had two interceptions and 10 tackles in the Cardinal's 24-10 win against UCLA.

WESTWOOD, Calif. -- Even as the focus shifted from UCLA's 24-10 loss at Stanford to this week's game at Oregon, the Bruins couldn't help but tip their caps to the Cardinal.

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As UCLA players on Monday recapped the issues the offense had on third down and protecting quarterback Brett Hundley, they also acknowledged part of the problem was simply sound play from Stanford.

"You've got to realize that you are going against Stanford, and they do play real football," Bruins WR Jordan Payton said. "Not to discredit any other team, but they play tough and physical football."

Hundley said Stanford did the same things that UCLA saw on tape all week, but the Bruins still couldn't stop it.

"Stanford is really good at that," Hundley said. "They show what they are going to give, and they execute what they need to."

Safety Jordan Richards earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week recognition after intercepting two passes to go along with his team-high 10 tackles and one pass breakup.

Outside linebacker Trent Murphy had two sacks, and inside linebacker Shayne Skov had seven tackles with one sack. Stanford conceded just 266 yards of total offense, the lowest total UCLA has posted under offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone by 68 yards. UCLA had scored 17 points or more in each of the previous 19 games with Hundley as the starter.

"Credit goes to Stanford," Payton said. "It was a good loss, I would say, because you go against a top defense, and you see things that you've got to correct. We’re just trying to push forward now and get better."

For UCLA, that means bringing a young offensive line up to speed and cutting down on penalties. There were three false starts and one illegal motion at a venue nowhere near as loud as Autzen Stadium, where the Bruins play this Saturday. UCLA managed just 2.7 yards per carry, and Hundley was hit in the pocket nine times, taking four sacks.

"If one part of the machine is not working, the whole thing cannot go," Payton said. "If we're not all on time and moving in sync, it can't really be effective. At times, we were all over the place as receivers, as a line, as the whole offense."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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