The No. 8-ranked Stanford Cardinal clinched home field advantage for the Pac-12 championship game with their 35-17 win over the UCLA Bruins, the team’s sixth straight victory.
The Cardinal played one of their best offensive games of the season, especially in the first half. On the first drive of the game, Kevin Hogan led Stanford on an eleven play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by an 11-yard Drew Terrell touchdown catch.
UCLA quickly answered, however, as Joseph Fauria hauled in a beautiful13-yard touchdown pass on third down near the goal line to tie the game up at seven.
Stanford’s running game picked up momentum in the second quarter, as Anthony Wilkerson punched in a 10-yard touchdown run, and Stepfan Taylor exploded for a 49-yard burst to extend their lead to 21-7.
UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbarin drilled a 48-yard field goal late in the second quarter to cut Stanford’s lead to 21-10 heading into the break.
Taylor, who had 142 yards on the night, continued his success on the ground in the second half, punching in yet another touchdown midway through the third quarter.
The real back-breaker came on the ensuing kickoff, as UCLA’s Kenneth Walker fumbled the ball on his own 11-yard line. Usua Amanam picked up the fumble and returned it for a touchdown to make the game 35-10.
Kevin Hogan extended his amazing streak of success in only his third career start, with the team winning its third straight game over a ranked team. Hogan threw for 160 yards and a touchdown, and repeatedly kept plays alive with his mobility in the pocket.
Stanford’s front seven was nearly impenetrable as usual, allowing only 65 yards to Jonathan Franklin, one of the best running backs in the conference.
With this win, Stanford has clinched the Pac-12 North and will host the Bruins in a rematch at home next Friday. Be sure to tune in for that game, as the winner will head to the Rose Bowl to represent the conference.