Stepfan Taylor (33) and Stanford will look to pull off a repeat performance against UCLA next week. (AP)
Snap Judgments from the Week 13 late slate. For more, check out Friday’s Snaps, Saturday’s early Snaps, Saturday’s midday Snaps, our recaps of Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Florida State and Notre Dame-USC and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 11 Stanford 35, No. 15 UCLA 17. With tonight’s victory, the Cardinal secured a share of the Pac-12 North division title and set up a rematch for the conference championship six days from now in Palo Alto. The win was all but assured midway through the second quarter, when Stanford jumped out to a 21-7 lead on a 49-yard Stepfan Taylor touchdown run; UCLA didn’t come within a score of catching up again all night. Stanford’s last conference title came in 1999; the Cardinal will be making their first appearance in the Pac-12 championship game.
Johnathan Franklin, he of the 131-yards-per-game rushing average, was held below 100 yards for just the fourth time this season, recording 65 yards on 21 carries and scoring one of the Bruins’ two touchdowns. Taylor more than doubled up Franklin, gaining 147 yards on 21 carries and scoring twice, all before being rested in the fourth quarter. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, meanwhile, threw for 259 yards but was sacked seven times — bad even for an offense that ranked 110th nationally in sacks allowed before this game, and above even Stanford’s lofty four-sack average.
Not to take anything away from Stanford, which has done some very neat work this season in the absence of Andrew Luck, among other key figures, but it’s all right to feel the tiniest bit let down about this. If only for the sake of variety, it would’ve been interesting to see UCLA play Oregon for the first time this season and not the Cardinal for a second in a week. But if we got everything we wanted, there’d be no point in writing fanfic about Ron Prince becoming monarch-commissioner of college football, and where’s the fun in that? The battle for a Rose Bowl bid begins next Friday at 8 p.m. ET. [BOX | RECAP]