Bruins tight end Joseph Fauria catches a touchdown pass behind the Cardinal… (Jason O. Watson / US Presswire )
Reporting from Palo Alto — UCLA rediscovered something during its 45-19 loss to Stanford Saturday night in Palo Alto.
At 6 feet 8, you would think tight end Joseph Fauria would be hard to misplace, but it had been a while since the Bruins had used him.
Fauria, a transfer from Notre Dame, had six receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown against Houston in the season opener. He had only three receptions for 43 yards in the next three games.
But he was back in the Bruins' plans against Stanford, catching three passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns.
He pulled in a 12-yard scoring pass in the first quarter, capping a drive in which he had another reception and also drew a pass interference penalty.
Then, in the third quarter, he turned in UCLA's most spectacular play of the night, taking in a short out pass from Richard Brehaut and hurdling – yes, right over the top of him with plenty of room to spare — Stanford free safety Michael Thomas at the six yard line on the way to completing a 13-yard scoring play.
Stanford with Andrew Luck isn't a team you want to face while short on defensive backs, but the Bruins were without three of their best for Saturday's Pacific 12 Conference game.
Starting cornerback Sheldon Price and safeties Dalton Hilliard and Alex Mascarenas did not make the trip.
Safety Tony Dye did, and dressed for the game, but did not play. Dye has been battling a shoulder injury the past three weeks.
Price has a sprained right knee, an injury he sustained near the end of a 27-19 victory over Oregon State. Andrew Abbott started in his place.
Hilliard, who plays in nickel packages, suffered a sprained left shoulder against Oregon State. Mascarenas, who plays in nickel packages and also holds for field goals and extra points, has a concussion.
He was replaced as holder by wide receiver Taylor Embree.
The defense became even more shorthanded as the game went on when tackle Justin Edison was sidelined by a concussion.
On offense, the Bruins were without F-back Anthony Barr and kicker Kip Smith, who also stayed home. Barr is expected to undergo knee surgery to repair cartilage, and Smith has a hip flexor injury.
In Smith's place, Jeff Locke missed two conversion kicks.
UCLA's Rick Neuheisel is well versed in Stanford Coach David Shaw's skills. They were both assistants with the Baltimore Ravens in 2005.
Neuheisel has not been surprised with Shaw's rise in the coaching ranks. "David is a very bright football coach," he said. "There was no question that he was destined for this. He grew up in a coaching family."
Neuheisel's interaction with the Shaw family covers two generations. Shaw's father, Willie, was the defensive coordinator at Stanford from 1989-1991, when Neuheisel was a UCLA assistant.
"I battled Willie years ago, when I first broke into the business," Neuheisel said. "We recruited the same area in San Diego. Now I'm battling his son."
Shaw was a Stanford assistant from 2007-2010. As head coach, he replaced Jim Harbaugh, who was hired by the San Francisco 49ers.
UCLA has a 4-8 record against teams that had a player win the Heisman Trophy at the end of the season.
The Bruins beat Texas and Ricky Williams in 1998, Ohio State and Archie Griffin in the 1976 Rose Bowl, Nebraska and Johnny Rodgers in 1972 and USC and Mike Garrett in 1965.
UCLA lost to USC and Matt Leinart in 2004, Oklahoma and Jason White in 2002, USC and Carson Palmer in 2002, USC and Marcus Allen in 1981, USC and Charles White in 1979, Ohio State and Griffin in the 1975 regular season, Stanford and Jim Plunkett in 1970 and USC and O.J. Simpson in 1968.
Stanford's Luck is a front-runner to win the Heisman this season.