No. 17 UCLA falls 27-24 to Stanford to win Pac-12

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 1, 2012 at 12:35 am •  Published: December 1, 2012
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The heavy rain that pounded the Bay Area most of the day relented most of the night, and a tarp covered the field until about 3 hours before kickoff. Scattered showers still made the grass a bit slick.

The surface never seemed to slow down the Bruins, who ran for 284 yards. It was the most yards rushing allowed this season by Stanford, which yielded 198 in an overtime victory at Oregon two weeks earlier.

No matter.

The Cardinal won their seventh straight game to advance to their third different BCS bowl in as many seasons — a run that began behind coach Jim Harbaugh and Luck, the No. 1 overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts. Before that, the Cardinal had only won 10 games three times — 1992, 1940, 1926 — in program history.

The Bruins made the final road block more difficult than expected.

UCLA converted a pair of third downs before Franklin burst through the middle for a 51-yard touchdown on the opening drive.

Stanford answered in a hurry when Hogan ran 14 yards on a read-option keeper to convert a long third down, fullback Ryan Hewitt bulldozed through the line on a fourth-and-1 and Stepfan Taylor took a short pass 33 yards, to inches shy of the goal line. On the next play, Hogan faked a handoff and rolled untouched for the tying touchdown.

Taylor finished with 78 yards to eclipse Darrin Nelson's school rushing record of 4,169. Taylor, an outgoing senior, has 4,212 for his career.

Before the Cardinal offense even found their seats on the sideline, Hundley ran 48 yards and scrambled for a 5-yard TD to put UCLA back in front, 14-7. With the Bruins about to go ahead two scores, Ed Reynolds intercepted Hundley's pass and returned it 80 yards to set up Taylor's short TD run.

Williamson kicked a 37-yard field goal as the first half expired to give Stanford a 17-14 lead. Fairbairn answered with a field goal from 31 yards on UCLA's opening drive of the second half.

Franklin capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a 20-yard TD run late in the third quarter. That gave the Bruins a 24-17 lead but they couldn't close it out and earn their first Rose Bowl bid since after the 1998 season.

"If anybody thought we'd be sitting here tonight with less than 45 seconds on the clock and potential to tie it and even win it, I'm not sure anyone would have taken that bet," Mora said. "Obviously, we have a lot of work to do to become the team we want to be."

The crowd was the smallest at 50,000-seat Stanford Stadium since the Cardinal drew 30,626 against Sacramento State on Sept. 4, 2010.

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