|Stepfan Taylor on his way to the first of his two touchdowns. (US Presswire)|
STANFORD WON: The Cardinal clinched the Pac-12's North Division and homefield advantage in the Pac-12 Championship with a win over UCLA on Saturday night in the Rose Bowl. Stepfan Taylor and the Stanford defense proved to be too much for the Bruins on Saturday night, as Taylor rushed for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stanford held UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin to only 65 yards on 21 carries.
WHY STANFORD WON: Stanford followed the same formula it's used for a few years now. It played solid defense and bludgeoned its opponent with a wave of running plays behind seven and eight blockers. The UCLA defense did an admirable job trying to slow the Cardinal ground game down, but Stepfan Taylor and Anthony Wilkerson broke off a couple of big runs that led to Stanford touchdowns.
On defense the Cardinal held UCLA to only 73 yards rushing on 33 carries (2.2 yards per carry), forcing UCLA to become one-dimensional. Brett Hundley passed for 261 yards, but it took him 38 attempts to do it.
Then there were the 12 penalties on UCLA, which cost the Bruins 135 yards on the night. Those didn't help UCLA's cause much either.
WHEN STANFORD WON: Halfway through the third quarter Stepfan Taylor's second touchdown of the night gave Stanford a 28-10 lead. On the ensuing kickoff UCLA's Kenneth Walker fumbled the return and Stanford's Usua Amanam picked it up and waltzed 10 yards into the end zone to make it 35-10.
WHAT STANFORD WON: Just about everything it could have hoped for. The Cardinal now get a rematch against the Bruins in Palo Alto next week, and another win there will send them right back to the Rose Bowl.