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10/19/2013 10:35 PM EDT
No. 13 Stanford smothers Hundley, No. 9 UCLA 24-10
STANFORD 24, UCLA 10

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Don't count Stanford out of the Pac-12
race just yet.

The Cardinal's physical ground game and dominant defense - which
disappeared in a loss at Utah last week - showed they can still
shut down new-age offenses the old-fashioned way.

Tyler Gaffney ran for a career-high 171 yards and two
touchdowns, and No. 13 Stanford smothered Brett Hundley and No.
9 UCLA 24-10 on Saturday with a physical performance on both
sides of the ball.

"You hear the expression, `Offense is your best defense.' You
keep them off. They can't do anything," said Gaffney, who also
carried the ball a career-most 36 times.

The Cardinal outgained UCLA 419 yards to 266, won the time of
possession 37:11 to 22:49 and again made the big plays when it
mattered most.

Kevin Hogan threw for 227 yards and a spectacular touchdown to
Kodi Whitfield as the Cardinal (6-1, 4-1) regrouped the way they
always seem to over the past four years. Stanford has not lost
consecutive games since October 2009.

"It's been a staple of ours for some time now," Cardinal coach
David Shaw said.

The Bruins entered the game averaging 45.8 points per game. That
ranked second in the Pac-12 behind Oregon, which hosts UCLA next
week before traveling to North Division rival Stanford on Nov. 7
in matchups that will likely decide the Pac-12's championship
game.

Just as they slowed down Marcus Mariota and Oregon last season,
the Cardinal hurried Hundley all afternoon to put the brakes on
UCLA's up-tempo offense.

Hundley completed 24 of 39 passes for 192 yards, one touchdown
and two interceptions by Jordan Richards - the second with a
little more than 2 minutes remaining, leading to another
Stanford touchdown that put the first blemish on UCLA's season.
The Bruins (5-1, 2-1) have not started 6-0 since 2005.

"That was just a really difficult loss for this team," UCLA
coach Jim Mora said. "We struggled to get things going the way
we're capable of getting things going, and that's not like us
offensively."

The Cardinal came out on top again in a rematch of last season's
Pac-12 title game with a "back-to-basics" formula despite
missing chances to put the game away earlier.

Conrad Ukropina, filling in for injured starter Jordan
Williamson, missed a 46-yard field goal with 6:24 remaining. It
made no difference.

When UCLA's offense took the field late, the Cardinal harassed
Hundley into two incompletions before Richards dived for his
second interception at the Bruins' 32-yard line after receiver
Thomas Duarte fell down. Then Gaffney capped off a quick
Stanford drive with a 4-yard TD run that put the game out of
reach.

"He holds the key to their offense," linebacker Trent Murphy
said of Hundley, getting Stanford's fourth sack of Hundley on
the final play for an exclamation point. "We wanted to stop
him."

Stanford has won six straight over UCLA, including three in the
last year, and 15 in a row against teams from California.

Devon Cajuste caught seven passes for 109 yards for Stanford
before leaving with a right knee injury early in the fourth
quarter. His status for next week at Oregon State is uncertain,
Shaw said.

UCLA also lost a key player, with inside linebacker Eric
Kendricks taken to the hospital for tests on his kidney after
making nine tackles in the first half. It was not immediately
clear what caused Kendricks' kidney issue, but Kendricks' kidney
passed initial tests and he was traveling back to Los Angeles
with the team.

The remaining players for UCLA, which entered the game
outscoring opponents 71-0 in the third quarter, looked out of
rhythm after halftime. Stanford outscored UCLA 14-3 in the third
quarter to take a two-touchdown lead - with one of the most
spectacular plays of the season igniting Stanford's surge.

While running to his right on a post route, Whitfield - the son
of former NFL offensive lineman Bob Whitfield - leaped in the
air and reached back to make a backhanded catch with his right
hand between two defenders. The 30-yard TD reception put
Stanford up 10-3 and left most of the crowd "oohing" every time
the replay was shown on the video boards.

"Hogan gave me a chance," Whitfield said. "I saw the ball and
just thought, `Got to catch this."'

After Richards' return for a TD on his first interception was
called back because of a holding penalty, Cajuste caught a
leaping 34-yard pass at UCLA's 2 on third down. And three plays
later, Gaffney ran for a short TD to put the Cardinal up 17-3
late in the third quarter.

Hundley regrouped to lead UCLA on an 11-play, 75-yard scoring
drive. He capped it off with a 3-yard TD pass to Shaquelle Evans
that sliced Stanford's lead to 17-10 early in the fourth.

Hundley and the Bruins never looked so smooth again. Ka'imi
Fairbairn kicked a tying 38-yard field on the opening drive of
the second half for UCLA's only other score.

"Games like this you want to win so bad," Hundley said. "That's
really all I can say. You want to win these games so bad, so
bad."

----

Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

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