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Stanford Cardinal beats UCLA Bruins in Pac-12 Championship Game

STANFORD, Calif. — Kevin Hogan has taken Stanford to a place Andrew Luck never could.

Hogan threw for 155 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 47 yards to help the eighth-ranked Cardinal beat No. 17 UCLA 27-24 in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night.

As a defender barreled into him, Hogan hurled a 26-yard tying touchdown to Drew Terrell on third and 15 early in the fourth quarter. Jordan Williamson kicked his second field goal from 36 yards with 6:49 remaining for the go-ahead score to seal Stanford's first conference title since the 1999 season.

The Cardinal (11-2) will play the winner of today's Big Ten title game between Nebraska and Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

UCLA's Brent Hundley threw for 177 yards and an interception that set up a Stanford touchdown. He still almost brought the Bruins (9-4) back, but Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 52-yard field goal wide left in the final moments.

Hogan completed 16 of 22 passes to beat a fourth ranked opponent in his fourth straight start since unseating Josh Nunes at quarterback. After the Cardinal rolled past UCLA 35-17 last Saturday at the Rose Bowl, it took all 60 minutes for another victory in the rare rematch.

The heavy rain that pounded the area earlier in the day never seemed to slow down the Bruins, who ran for 284 yards behind Jonathan Franklin's 194 yards on the ground. The most yards rushing Stanford allowed this season had been 198 in an overtime victory at Oregon two weeks ago.

No matter.

The Cardinal won its seventh straight game to advance to its third different BCS bowl in as many seasons, a run that began behind coach Jim Harbaugh and Luck, the No. 1 overall pick of the Colts. Before that, the Cardinal had only won 10 games three times (1992, 1940, 1926) in program history.

UCLA converted a pair of third downs before Franklin burst through the middle for a 51-yard touchdown. He carried safety Jordan Richards the final 5 yards into the end zone to give the Bruins a 7-0 lead on the opening drive.

Stanford answered when Hogan ran 14 yards on a read-option keeper to convert a long third down, fullback Ryan Hewitt bulldozed through the line on a fourth and 1 and Stepfan Taylor took a short pass 33 yards inches shy of the goal line. On the next play, Hogan faked a handoff and rolled untouched for the tying touchdown.

Before the Cardinal offense even found their seats on the sideline, Hundley ran 48 yards and scrambled for a 5-yard TD to put UCLA back in front, 14-7. With the Bruins about to go ahead two scores, Ed Reynolds intercepted Hundley's pass and returned it 80 yards to set up Taylor's short TD run.

Stanford Cardinal beats UCLA Bruins in Pac-12 Championship Game 11/30/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 1, 2012 12:35am]
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