Stanford has produced name players, from Frankie Albert to James Lofton to John Elway.
But rarely have the names screamed football like those of two Cardinal defensive stars--Tank Williams and Coy Wire.
Williams is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound free safety and Jim Thorpe Award candidate. He has three interceptions, but is best known for his hits.
"Physically, he's everything you look for in a football player," Cardinal secondary coach Denny Schuler said. "He's got cornerback speed and linebacker size."
Wire is a 6-1, 218-pound linebacker and Lombardi Award candidate. He leads Stanford with 41 tackles and has blocked a punt.
"A lot of what we do defensively is based on what Coy can do," defensive coordinator Kent Baer said.
The Stanford defensive front is less than 100%. Defensive lineman Matt Leonard, a junior from Palmdale High, probably won't play for the second consecutive week because of a back injury. Nose tackle Trey Freeman is questionable because of an undisclosed injury and linebacker Anthony Gabriel is playing despite a broken hand.
UCLA Coach Bob Toledo believes Stanford's greatest strength is its offensive line. The top six linemen are back from last season and four are returning starters.
"The main benefit they have with all that experience is that they communicate well," Toledo said. "They make adjustments and don't miss assignments because the right hand knows what the left hand is doing."