Pasadena, CA – Stepfan Taylor ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and 11th-ranked Stanford took down No. 15 UCLA, 35-17, in a preview of next week's Pac-12 Championship game.
These two teams will face each other again next Friday, with Stanford hosting UCLA in the rematch. Thanks to last week's win over then-No. 1 Oregon and Saturday's victory, Stanford took the North Division, while UCLA had already conquered the South Division coming into Saturday.
"I expect them [UCLA] to give us everything," said Stanford head coach David Shaw. "I expect this to be a tough, physical game. It's going to be hard. It's going to be 10 times harder than this game was. We're going to get their best shot. We have to approach this thing like a completely different game."
Kevin Hogan went 15-for-22 with 160 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinal (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12), who have won six straight games.
UCLA's Brett Hundley was pressured all day, as he was sacked seven times and went just 20-of-38 for 261 yards with one touchdown and one interception for the Bruins (9-3, 6-3), who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
"We're pretty consistent in our approach this week," said UCLA head coach Jim Mora. "I didn't see a whole lot of difference in our preparation and in our approach before the game. We did not play as well as we can."
Stanford opened the game with the ball and successfully marched 75 yards over 11 plays to take the lead. Facing an early 3rd-and-9, Taylor took a handoff 19 yards to moved the chains. Taylor converted a third down later in the drive for a first down at the UCLA 17. From the 11-yard line on another third down, Hogan rolled to his right and tossed the ball into the end zone where Drew Terrell caught it for a 7-0 lead with 10:21 to play in the first.
UCLA came back with a quick 6-play, 87-yard march that featured a 71-yard catch-and-run from Shaquelle Evans down to the Stanford 10. Three plays later, Hundley floated a pass to the left side where Joseph Fauria made a leaping catch for a TD.
The score stayed that way until the second quarter when the Cardinal went ahead. A 9-play, 88-yard march was capped when Anthony Wilkerson took a snap in the Wildcat formation, faked a handoff and ran through the gap in the middle on a 10-yard score for a 14-7 lead with 8:22 left.
Following a three-and-out from the Bruins, Stanford took over near midfield and needed just two plays to add to its lead as Taylor took a handoff up the middle, broke a tackle and raced into the end zone on a 49-yard score for a 21-7 lead with 6:43 left in the half.
UCLA was again forced to kick the ball away, but held the Cardinal to just one first down and forced a punt.
On the punt attempt, the snap was bounced to Daniel Zychlinski, who mishandled the ball and was hit before getting it off. The ball came out of his hands and the Bruins recovered at the Stanford 22.
However, the Cardinal defense pushed UCLA back and the team came away with just three points as a Ka'imi Fairbairn 48-yard field goal made it 21-10 going into the break.
Each team punted once to start the second half, but Hundley was intercepted by Jordan Richards at the UCLA 42. Taylor took the first snap 40 yards down to the 2-yard line, then punched it in himself three plays later for a 28-10 lead.
It didn't take long for the Cardinal to add to their lead as Alex Debniak hit Kenneth Walker on the kickoff return, forcing a fumble that Stanf Usua Amanam recovered and took 11 yards into the end zone for a 35-10 difference.
UCLA responded with a quick 5-play drive that covered 65 yards and saw Johnathan Franklin get the ball home with an 11-yard score to make it a 35-17 game with 1:53 to play in the third.
Stanford killed off the next seven minutes of the clock and lined up for a 45- yard field goal attempt by Jordan Williamson, but he hit it off the crossbar to give UCLA the ball back it its own 29.
The Bruins moved the ball across midfield, but failed to convert a fourth down attempt.
UCLA forced another three-and-out from Stanford, burning all its timeouts in the process, and got into the red zone, but again failed on fourth down as the Cardinal killed off the rest of the clock.
Stanford has won three straight games against ranked opponents, the first time in school history it has turned that trick ... Stanford has won the past four matchups between the schools, but still trails in the series, 45-35-3 ... Franklin finished the game with 65 yards on 21 carries ... Stanford totaled 381 yards and controlled the ball for 34:31. UCLA finished the game with 334 yards.