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UCLA LB Anthony Barr to be tested against Stanford's tight ends

The former Bruins running back will have a difficult task of neutralizing Stanford's skilled tight ends in the Pac-12 championship game.

Harry How

UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr will face the difficult task of covering Stanford's tight ends in the Pac-12 championship game.

Barr, who has been on a tear against opposing quarterbacks in 2012, was tasked with following Cardinal tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo all over the field in Saturday's 35-17 loss, and he'll have to do it all over again come Friday.

Ertz is 6 ft. 6, 252 pounds while Toilolo is 6 ft. 8, 265. Given their size, UCLA's defensive backs would have a near-impossible task in covering them. That's where the versatile Barr comes in. As a former running back with good size at 6 ft. 4 and 235 pounds, Barr has both the size and speed to drop into pass coverage and mitigate their effectiveness in the passing game.

The problem lies in the fact that the Bruins will lose Barr in the pass rush when he has to cover the tight ends. He is eight in the nation in sacks with 12.0 and is perhaps the team's biggest catalyst on defense when he can get to the quarterback.