|Stanford coach David Shaw celebrates with his family and team after the Cardinal clinched their first Rose Bowl berth since 2000. (US Presswire)|
Kevin Hogan did in four career starts at Stanford what Andrew Luck couldn't do in four seasons: lead the Cardinal to a Rose Bowl. The redshirt freshman totaled 202 yards and two touchdowns in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday as the Cardinal topped UCLA 27-24 in dramatic fashion at Stanford Stadium.
The game's result and the Pac-12's automatic Rose Bowl berth were both in doubt until the final minute when UCLA freshman kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn sent a 52-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Hogan, the game's MVP, threw a 26-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Drew Terrell that tied that game at 24. KickerJordan Williamson then tacked on the game-winning points with seven minutes left when he split the uprights from 36 yards. Williamson also hit from 37 in the game.
The win over No. 17 UCLA moves Hogan to 4-0 in four career starts, with all four wins coming against ranked teams. Hogan's wins have come over then-No. 13 Oregon State, then-No. 1 Oregon and UCLA twice. Hogan finished the game 16 of 22 for 155 yards and a touchdown. The redshirt freshman also ran for 47 yards and a first-quarter touchdown.
Johnathan Franklin paced UCLA (9-4) with 194 yards rushing. It was the most rushing yards the Stanford defense had given up since 2010. Bruins redshirt freshman QB Brett Hundley finished 23 of 31 for 177 yards, but threw a costly second-quarter pick that led to a Stanford score.
The Cardinal (11-2) are now headed to the Rose Bowl for the first time since Jan. 1, 2000. The New Year's Day bowl will mark the team's third BCS bowl berth in three seasons. Stanford will play the winner of the Big Ten Championship Game between Wisconsin and Nebraska.
When the game turned: This game had ups and downs, ins and outs, but it didn't turn until Fairbairn's 52-yard field goal attempt with 39 seconds left fell short and wide left. After Fairbairn's miss, Stanford took a knee to clinch its first Rose Bowl berth since the 1999 season.
Highlight moments: Franklin opened the game's scoring on UCLA's opening drive with a 51-yard touchdown run, an impressive feat given that Stanford's defense went into the Pac-12 Championship only surrendering 71.4 yards per game. ... Stanford S Ed Reynolds picked off Hundley in the second quarter and returned it 80 yards to the UCLA 1-yard line. RB Stepfan Taylor punched the ball in for a score one play later.
Significance of Stanford's victory: The rose petals lying all over the Stanford Stadium field after the game kind of hinted at the significance of the win. For the first time since Jan. 1, 2000, the Cardinal are headed to the Rose Bowl. Stanford is the first Pac-12 team not named USC or Oregon to get to the Rose Bowl since Washington State in 2003. The Cardinal are also quietly building a dynasty in Palo Alto, the team has 42 wins since 2009 -- over 10 per season -- and will be playing in a BCS bowl for the third straight season.
Significance of UCLA's loss: The Bruins have no reason to hang their heads. With first-year coach Jim Mora at the helm, UCLA was able to win nine games, beat USC and win the Pac-12 South Division to earn the title game berth. Sure, they won't be playing in the Rose Bowl, but the Bruins have a young nucleus and are set up to contend for Pac-12 titles for years to come.
|Stanford freshman QB Kevin Hogan was named the title game MVP after totaling 202 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinal's win over UCLA. (US Presswire)|
- Stanford QB Kevin Hogan -- 16 of 22 passing, 155 yards, 1 touchdown; 11 carries, 47 yards, 1 touchdown
- Stanford WR Drew Terrell -- 4 rec., 70 yards, 1 touchdown
- Stanford LB Chase Thomas -- 10 tackles, 2 sacks
- UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin -- 19 carries, 194 yards, 2 touchdowns; 3 rec., 22 yards
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley -- 16 carries, 83 yards, 1 touchdown; 23 of 31 for 177 yards
- UCLA LB Anthony Barr -- 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks
What they said:
- Stanford coach David Shaw on getting to the Rose Bowl without Andrew Luck: "Part of the chip on our shoulder was to prove we're not a one-man organization here. We're a team. And we'll have more great players leave this year and we expect to be good next year again."
- Shaw on QB Kevin Hogan's MVP performance: "He deserved that MVP for that game because he put us on his shoulders and he played great."
- Stanford LB Chase Thomas on Hogan's performance: "He sure doesn't play like [a freshman]. The way he commands the huddle, it's tremendous for a redshirt freshman like him."
- UCLA coach Jim Mora on Hogan's performance: "He's an impressive kid. I don't know how many games he's started, but he's very poised."
- Shaw on Reynolds' second-quarter interception: "That was the game changer. Take points off the board for them and put points on the board for us."
- Mora on Stanford's 26-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter: "There was a communication breakdown. We busted the coverage at a very inopportune time."
Numbers you should know:
4,212: With 78 yards rushing against the Bruins, Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor reached 4,212 yards for his career, breaking the school record of 4,169. Darrin Nelson's career record had stood since 1981.
1,700: UCLA's Franklin also topped a big school record. With 194 yards against the Cardinal, the senior reached 1,700 yards for the season, a new single-season record for UCLA. The previous record of 1,571 was held by Karim Abdul-Jabbar (1995).
14: The win over UCLA means Stanford is headed to the Rose Bowl for the 14th time in school history. The Cardinal are 5-6-1 in their previous 13 appearances.
(For more on the Pac-12 title game, check out Eye on College Football blog)