The Stanford Cardinal lost control of the Pac-12 race a couple of times this season but still found a way to get to the conference title game. Because of their two conference losses this season, however, they would have to go on the road to Tempe to play against the Arizona State Sun Devils who have been a strong team on their home field this season. The Cardinal proved up to the challenge, however, and imposed their will on ASU to defend their Pac-12 title and get back to the Rose Bowl.
Stanford brought a balanced attack to the desert that led to a comfortable win. Kevin Hogan was an efficient 12-of-18 passing on the day for 277 yards with a touchdown. Tyler Gaffney turned in another strong performance, racking up 133 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns. The Cardinal as a team racked up 517 yards of offense as they jumped out to an early lead over the Sun Devils and never relinquished control.
With the win, Stanford secures back-t0-back Pac-12 Championships and earned a bid to defend their Rose Bowl title in Pasadena. A second straight Pac-12 title puts Stanford firmly at the top of the conference hierarchy and a real powerhouse in the national landscape of college football. They kept the power balance of the Pac-12 conference squarely in the North Division turning away the upstart Arizona State program for at least one more year.
They suffered a few bumps in the road which kept them out of the national title conversation this season, but at the end of the day, Stanford held on to their grip of the Pac-12 crown.