The Stanford Cardinal clinched a berth in the Rose Bowl with their 27-24 victory against UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship game.
.@stanfordfb, 2012 Pac-12 Champs and Rose Bowl bound: twitter.com/BryanDFischer/…— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 1, 2012
With the win, Stanford clinches its first trip to the Rose Bowl since the 1998 season. The BCS bowl berth is Stanford's third straight. The Cardinal played in the Fiesta Bowl last season and the Orange Bowl in 2010. The Bruins will likely head to either the Alamo Bowl or the Holiday Bowl.
The game went back-and-forth with each team leading during the fourth quarter. Stanford scored 10 straight points in the final quarter to take the 27-24 lead and were able to just hold on. UCLA had a chance to force overtime, but freshman kicker missed a 51-yard field goal attempt with 34 seconds to play.
In the battle of freshman quarterbacks, Stanford's Kevin Hogan was able to prevail. Hogan threw for 153 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 49 yards and another score. UCLA's Brett Hundley threw for 182 yards but didn't throw a touchdown and added one interception.
Head coach David Shaw said following the game via the L.A. Times in a statement that could be construed as an indictment on strength of the Pac-12 South, "We knew this season was going to come down to beating Oregon," he said. "That was the key game."
The folks over at Rule of Tree are loving this one. Here's the stream for all of their measured, bridled and thoughtful reaction.
pac12 champions! #stanford instagr.am/p/SrlyEPHL1l/— Fayne S C (@Faynesamantha) December 1, 2012
Box Score Hero: Kevin Hogan did the dirty work and got the job done for the Cardinal, though the stat line won't show it with gaudy numbers. He completed 16-of-22 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown. Bruins running back Johnathan Franklin went off for 201 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to lead UCLA.
But Did They Cover? Stanford opened as a 10-point favorite and failed to cover with the three-point victory. Who cares?
For More On This Game:
For more on Cardinal football, visit Stanford blog Rule Of Tree, plus Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Bay Area.
For more on Bruins football, visit UCLA blog Bruins Nation, plus Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Los Angeles.