Stanford needed this afternoon’s game in the Rose Bowl to fully punch their ticket to the Pac-12 Championship Game once Oregon came out victorious in the Civil War. UCLA had already advanced to the game, but still could’ve decided who their opponent would have been.
Stanford took the choice away from the Bruins, as the Cardinal claimed the Pac-12 North title with a decisive victory over UCLA, 35-17 in the Rose Bowl.
Stepfan Taylor carried the ball 20 times for 142 yards and two scores on the ground as Stanford controlled the clock with the ground game to the tune of 34:31 in time of possession. The Cardinal punished the Bruins up front, running the ball 49 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Kevin Hogan managed the game well, with the freshman completing 68 percent of his passes for 160 yards and a touchdown pass. Last week’s hero, tight end Zach Ertz, had five catches for 71 yards.
It was tough sledding for the Bruins talented ground game tonight, as the Stanford defense, one of the best in the country against the run, stifled the UCLA runners. The Bruins rushed 33 times for only 73 yards, an average of 2.2 yards per carry. Johnathan Franklin, the other talented senior running back in the game, was held to 65 yards on 21 carries, although he did score a touchdown.
Brett Hundley struggled a bit in the game, completing 20 of 38 passes for 261 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Hundley was also sacked five times by the Cardinal defense, who lead the nation in sacks.
With the win tonight, Stanford has beaten USC, UCLA and California all in the same season for the second straight year. This also marks the third straight season that the Cardinal has won ten games, a first for this program.
Stanford (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12 North) will host the Bruins (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12 South) Friday night at Stanford Stadium (8:00 PM, Fox) for the Pac-12 title and the automatic berth in the Rose Bowl.