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Stanford stomps UCLA, sets up Pac-12 title game rematch

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Stepfan Taylor expects to see a different UCLA team next week when his Stanford Cardinal play the Bruins for a second straight week.

Stanford fans will just be hoping for more of the same.

Taylor rushed for 142 yards to inch himself closer to the Stanford career rushing record and the No. 11 Cardinal set up a Pac-12 title game rematch with No. 15 UCLA after a 35-17 win over the Bruins on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl in front of 68,288.

With the win, Stanford clinched the Pac-12 North title and will host UCLA on Friday at Stanford Stadium.

"They're a great team, and we know they're going to change things," Taylor said. "We have to focus on us and go out there and focus on the game plan that coach is going to put in and execute out there."

Taylor rushed for touchdowns of one and 49 yards as the Cardinal dominated the ground game against the mistake-prone Bruins. Stanford out-rushed UCLA 221-73 -- the Bruins averaged more than 207 yards entering the game -- and benefitted from UCLA's 12 penalties for 135 yards.

"A little birdy told me we're the most panelized team in the country and at some point that's gonna bite you in the butt," UCLA tight end Joseph Fauria said. "It's going to catch up with you. It caught up with us today. Next week we can't have that, not against a technically and fundamentally sound team."

Kevin Hogan completed 15 of 22 passes for 160 passes for the Cardinal, outshining his more heralded counterpart, UCLA redshirt freshman Brett Hundley. Hundley completed just 20 of 38 passes for 261 yards and was sacked seven times as the Stanford defensive line overwhelmed UCLA.

The Cardinal defense held UCLA to 7-of-19 on third down, as the Bruins tied their season-low with 17 points.

After Stanford went into halftime with an 11-point lead, the Cardinal scored 14 points in a 49-second stretch in the third quarter to distance themselves. Taylor scored from a yard out with 8:30 left in the third, then UCLA kick returner Kenny Walker fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The fumble was returned by Stanford's Usua Amanam for a 10-yard score.

"You hate to have that happen in a big game like this," UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. "I can't tell you exactly why (mistakes happened) right now. We have to go back and think about how we approached this thing. Was there something off this week?"

Taylor punished the Bruins early as Stanford took control in the first half with its typical brand of bruising football.

The Cardinal led 21-10 at the half as Taylor eclipsed the 100-yard mark on 16 first-half carries, punctuated by a 49-yard touchdown run with Stanford already leading 14-7.

"We were gonna bring it," Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov said about the game plan against the Bruins. "We're gonna come out swinging, and we're gonna keep going until we impose our will. Hat goes off to them, but we play physical, we play hard, and we wanted to send a message because we're going to do the exact same thing next week."

After allowing an uncharacteristic 147 yards of offense to the Bruins in the first quarter, the Cardinal beefed up in the second, holding UCLA to just 18 yards. Hundley, who started the game 4-for-7 for 120 yards and a score, ended the first half just 6-of-13 for 131 yards.

NOTES: Stanford has owned the series with UCLA the last few years, winning three straight entering the game by a combined score of 104-35. The Cardinal defeated the Bruins 35-0 in 2010, the last time the teams met at the Rose Bowl. ... UCLA linebacker and Pac-12 leading tackler Eric Kendricks had nine tackles in the first half. ... Stanford appeared in the Associated Press top 25 poll for the 44th consecutive week, setting a school record.

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