Stanford captures Pac-12 title, earns Rose Bowl berth
STANFORD, Calif. - The hottest team in the country continued their winning ways at home as Stanford topped UCLA, 27-24, Friday night in the second annual Pac-12 Football Championship Game to win the conference and earn a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Running back Stepfan Taylor moved into first place on the school's career rushing list in the middle of yet another solid performance by the senior. Quarterback Kevin Hogan came up clutch once again as he kept his record perfect as a starter, tossing a beautiful touchdown throw to receiver Drew Terrell in the fourth quarter to swing momentum back in favor of Stanford.
A bad snap on UCLA's 52-yard field goal attempt with :34 left on the clock sealed Stanford's fate.
The Cardinal defense was not as sharp as they were six days ago when the two teams met at the Rose Bowl to conclude the regular season. UCLA tailback Johnathan Franklin averaged over 10 yards per carry and was part of a Bruins rushing attack that ran for more yards than any team since Oregon did in 2010.
The 2012 Pac-12 title is the program's first since the 1999 season and its 13th overall. Stanford won its fourth straight over a ranked foe for the first time in school history and has won 13 of its last 14 games played in the month of November.
Pac-12 Coach of the Year David Shaw won the Pac-12 championship in only his second season as head coach of the Cardinal.