- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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PASADENA, Calif. -- With Oregon topping Oregon State, Stanford knew it had to win on the road to capture the Pac-12 North. And the Cardinal did it in dominating fashion, 35-17. Here’s how it all went down at the Rose Bowl.
It was over when: Stanford took a 28-10 lead midway through the third quarter on a touchdown run from Stepfan Taylor. On the ensuing kickoff, Kenneth Walker was hit by Alex Debniak and fumbled. Usua Amanam picked up the fumble and returned it 11 yards for the touchdown, giving Stanford 14 points in a 13-second span and a 35-10 lead.
Stat of the game: 7 -- the number of times the Cardinal sacked UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. Heading into the game, Stanford ranked second nationally in sacks.
Second-guessing: The Pac-12 preseason media poll -- which predicted USC and Oregon in the conference championship game. Please accept a humbled frowny face on behalf of all us media types.
Game ball goes to: Taylor turned in his usual workmanlike performance, carrying 20 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns -- including a 49-yard touchdown run.
What it means for Stanford: The Cardinal claim the Pac-12 North by virtue of their tiebreaker over Oregon -- which they gained by beating the Ducks last week. They play UCLA again Friday -- this time serving as hosts for the Pac-12 title game.
What it means for UCLA: The Bruins had already locked up the South Division with their victory over USC last week. There are certainly some things to work on before heading to Palo Alto, Calif. -- like pass protection, turnover reduction, cleaner special teams, run defense, etc., etc.