Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel argues a call with an official in the first quarter… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
This has always been the quiet rivalry for UCLA, at least in comparison.
The Bruins, and their fans, always get wound up for California and downright cranky for USC. Stanford falls a bit lower on the frothing-at-the- mouth scale, though the matchup still brings strong feelings.
"As a player, it was always an important game," UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "It is a Northern California rival, whether it was going up to Stanford or down here, it was a big game and a fun game."
It was also a monumental game for Neuheisel.
Neuheisel was the Bruins' starting quarterback in 1983 but was benched after a loss to Nebraska in the third game. But when Steve Bono was injured against Stanford two weeks later, Neuheisel came off the bench to lead the Bruins to a 39-21 victory, his first win as a quarterback.
Neuheisel was the starter the remainder of the season, and ended up the Rose Bowl most valuable player.
UCLA's quarterback of the future was at Saturday night's game against Stanford. He was just not eligible yet.
Brett Hundley of Chandler, Ariz., who committed to UCLA on Monday, was on the sidelines. Hundley is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.
Other UCLA commits in attendance were tackle Darryl Jackson (Lakewood), wide receiver Brandin Cooks (Stockton Lincoln), guard Benjamin Winsock (Los Alamitos), tackle Torian White (Lakewood), tight end Raymond Nelson (Modesto Christian) and linebacker Aaron Wallace (San Diego Rancho Bernardo).
Top uncommitted recruits who were in attendance were quarterback Devon Blackmon (Fontana Summit), defensive end Todd Barr (Lakewood), defensive end Jason Gibson (Gardena Serra), linebacker Corey Waller (Long Beach Poly), guard Dontae Livingston (Narbonne), defensive end Sam Meredith (La Mesa Helix), tackle Faitele Faafoi (Tustin), defensive end Devon Moreland (Salesian), quarterback Jerry Neuheisel (Loyola), and wide receiver Junior Pomee (Moreno Valley Rancho Verde).
UCLA coaches and non-suited players were wearing shirts with "UCLA" in red, white and blue, commemorating the 9/11 anniversary.
Stanford had five players from Southern California in its starting lineup; tackle Jonathan Martin (Harvard Westlake), tight end Konrad Reuland (Mission Viejo), defensive tackle Sione Fua (Encino Crespi), cornerback Richard Sherman (Compton Dominguez) and Delano Howell (Newhall Hart).
Former UCLA players Michael Young and Jonathan Ogden were honorary captains for the Bruins. … The last time UCLA faced a ranked Stanford team was in 2001, with the 20th-ranked Cardinal winning, 38-28. Stanford came into Saturday's game ranked 25th.