Stanford 27, UCLA 24

The Sports Xchange

STANFORD, Calif. -- No. 8 Stanford had to beat UCLA twice in less than a week to get to the Rose Bowl, and the Cardinal did just that, although the second one proved to be a bigger challenge.

After beating the No. 16 Bruins 35-17 last Saturday in Pasadena to earn a berth in the Pac-12 championship game, the Cardinal recovered from a seven-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to beat UCLA 27-24 in the conference title game played in intermittent rain Friday night at Stanford Stadium.

Stanford (11-2) beat a ranked foe for the fourth straight game and will play in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl against the winner of Saturday's Big Ten championship game between Nebraska and Wisconsin.

UCLA (9-4) got as far as the Stanford 34-yard line in the final minute but Ka'imi Fairbairn's 52-yard field goal attempt with 39 seconds left was well off the mark.

UCLA will play a Big 12 team in either the Alamo Bowl or the Holiday Bowl.

UCLA tailback Johnathan Franklin had a big game with 194 yards rushing and two touchdowns against a Cardinal defense that ranked first in the country against the run, but it was not enough.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was 16 for 22 for 155 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He also ran for 47 yards and a score and was named the MVP of the game.

UCLA's Brett Hundley was 23 for 31 for 177 yards and one important interception and nearly led the drive at the end. It started from the UCLA 19 with 2:18 left and got to the 34 of Stanford, where Jim Mora elected to try the long field goal instead of go for the first down on fourth-and-4 with 39 seconds left.

Stepfan Taylor rushed for 78 yards for Stanford.

Stanford led by three points at halftime, but UCLA tied the game at 17-17 on Fairbairn's 31-yard field goal at 8:20 of the third quarter, ending a 47-yard UCLA drive.

UCLA then went ahead 24-17 late in the third quarter when Franklin scored on a 20-yard run to finish off an 80-yard drive.

Stanford tied the game again at 24-24 when Hogan hit Drew Terrell with a 26-yard scoring pass on a third-and-15 play with 11:21 remaining in the fourth quarter. That completed a 63-yard drive.

Jordan Williamson's 36-yard field goal with 6:49 to go put the Cardinal ahead 27-24.

An 80-yard interception return by Stanford safety Ed Reynolds was the pivotal play of the first half, which ended with Stanford holding a 17-14 lead.

Jordan Williamson booted a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to end a 63-yard Stanford drive late in the half and give the Cardinal the lead at intermission.

But the key play came earlier in the second quarter.

UCLA led 14-7 and had driven to the Stanford 36 when Reynolds changed the momentum by intercepting a Hundley pass at the Stanford 19-yard line and weaving his way 80 yards to the UCLA 1-yard line. It was Reynolds' sixth interception of the season, and he barely missed getting his fourth touchdown of the season on an interception return. Taylor carried one yard for the touchdown on the next play to tie the game 14-14 at 12:57 of the second quarter.

Franklin, who had just 65 rushing yards against Stanford last week, had 113 yards in the first half Friday. He gave UCLA a 7-0 lead with 11:35 left in the first quarter when he burst up the middle for a 51-yard touchdown run on the Bruins' first possession.

Hundley had completed a 9-yard pass to Franklin on a third-and-6 play one play earlier.

Stanford tied it 7-7 on an 11-play, 69-yard scoring drive on its first possession. A 34-yard pass from Hogan to Taylor put the ball at the UCLA 1-yard line, and on the next play Hogan ran around left end untouched for the tying touchdown.

UCLA went back ahead on seven-play, 75-yard drive to take a 14-7 lead. A 48-yard run by Hundley to the Stanford 24-yard line followed by a 19-yard Franklin run set up Hundley's 5-yard scoring run on a scramble with 3:40 left in the first quarter.

Reynolds' pick halted the Bruins' offensive momentum, however, as the Cardinal scored the final 10 points of the half.

Notes: Franklin set school records for career all-purpose yardage and single-season rushing yardage in the first quarter. He needed just 18 yards to break Maurice Jones-Drew's UCLA record of 4,688 for career all-purpose yards, and Franklin needed 66 yards to break Karim Abdul-Jabbar's single-season rushing mark of 1,571 yards. ... Stanford was without punter David Zychlinski, who was injured in last week's game against UCLA. Ben Rhyne did the punting for the Cardinal on Friday and also held for place kicks, a role Zychlinski had also performed. ... Taylor became Stanford's career rushing leader in the first half, surpassing the 4,169 yards by Darrin Nelson. Taylor needed 35 yards to match Nelson and had 41 in the first half. ... Stanford starting nose tackle Terrence Stephens missed his second straight game because of a personal matter. ... UCLA running back Damien Thigpen was lost for the season when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament against USC. ... Stanford wore its all-black uniforms for the fourth time in history. The Cardinal won all three previous games decisively, including a 50-13 victory over Duke this season.