The Stanford Cardinal has clinched its second straight Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl Berth with a convincing 38-14 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe, Ariz., Saturday night.
Tyler Gaffney kicked things off about as well as possible with a beautiful 69-yard touchdown run on a stretch play barely a minute into the game. Though ASU’s D.J. Foster responded quickly with a 51-yard run of his own, the Cardinal dominated throughout the rest of the game.
Gaffney punched in his second score of the night before the end of the first quarter, this one from only one yard out, to give the lead back to the Cardinal. Stanford’s exceptional defense then forced four consecutive punts.
This gave the offense an opportunity to extend the team’s lead. Ty Montgomery opened the second quarter with a 22-yard score, and then Gaffney punched in his third of the night to give Stanford a 28-7 lead.
Only another huge play by Foster, this one a 65-yard touchdown reception, before the half kept the Sun Devils in the game as the Cardinal took a 28-14 lead into the break.
Stanford continued to roll in the second half, and the defense was particularly dominant, shutting Arizona State out after the break. Jordan Williamson hit a third-quarter field goal, and Montgomery found the end zone for the second time in the fourth quarter to give the Cardinal its 38-14 lead that it never lost.
Arizona State struggled mightily to move the ball all night. Though part of this can be attributed to the absence of Marion Grice, the Stanford defense still played exceptionally well, only allowing 304 yards to a normally potent Sun Devils offense.
Kevin Hogan finished the night with 277 passing yards and Gaffney led the offensive attack with 133 rushing yards and those three scores.
Though this season has had its of ups and downs for Stanford, the Cardinal should be thrilled to have its second straight conference title and Rose Bowl berth with this big win.