It really comes as no surprise that Stanford ended up coming away with the Pac-12 Championship. They beat Arizona State for it by a score of 38-14, and shut out the Sun Devils in the second half. The Cardinal dominated, and showed why they deserved to win the Pac-12.
When Oregon is out and USC struggles, Stanford thrives. They won the championship last year against UCLA in comeback fashion, 27-24, and the only reason they had a chance was because the Ducks had dropped dramatically and USC was still under Lane Kiffin. This doesn’t mean that Stanford didn’t deserve to win the Pac-12 last year, but there was definitely more than a little luck involved.
This year was different, however. Stanford didn’t dominate, but they definitely didn’t falter either. However, their opponent in the Championship game really didn’t stand much of a chance. Arizona State came into this game with about as much chance as the Cleveland Browns have of winning the Super Bowl; it was there, but it was highly unlikely. So, Stanford came in and did what they do, win.
Arizona State had a great season and accomplished a lot, but they were no match for a Stanford team that had beaten them once earlier this season. The Sun Devils hung with the Cardinal until they took a 28-7 lead in the second quarter. Kevin Hogan went 12-of-18 for 277 yards and a touchdown, while Taylor Kelly went 17-of-25 for 173 yards and a touchdown.
The Sun Devils were simply at the end of an awful matchup against a Stanford team that didn’t surprise anyone, and came away with a Pac-12 Championship Title and a ticket to the Rose Bowl.