Updated Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 03:38 PM
STANFORD, Calif. — Kevin Hogan has taken Stanford to a place Andrew Luck never could.
Hogan threw for 155 yards and a touchdown and ran for 47 yards and another score, helping the eighth-ranked Cardinal beat No. 17 UCLA 27-24 in the Pac-12 football championship game Friday night. The redshirt freshman, who was voted the game's most valuable player, helped put Stanford in the Rose Bowl for the first time in more than a decade.
As a defender barreled into him, Hogan hurled a 26-yard tying touchdown pass to Drew Terrell on third-and-15 early in the fourth quarter.
"There was a communication breakdown," said first-year UCLA coach Jim Mora, a former Seahawks coach. "We busted the coverage at a very inopportune time."
Jordan Williamson kicked a field goal from 36 yards with 6:49 remaining for the go-ahead score to seal Stanford's first conference title since the 1999 season.
Many in a sparse crowd announced at 31,622 rushed the field afterward. Players, wearing their all-black uniforms, danced on the sideline and confetti flew from a stage erected on the field.
What a way to ring in the post-Luck Era: The Cardinal (11-2) will play the winner of Saturday's Big Ten title game between Nebraska and Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif.
"Character," said Stanford's David Shaw, the Pac-12 coach of the year in his first two seasons. "Even when we don't play well, we still play hard. Our guys played with such heart. We made plays when we needed to make plays."
UCLA's Brent Hundley threw for 177 yards and a costly interception that set up a Stanford touchdown. He still almost brought the Bruins (9-4) back, but Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 52-yard field-goal try in the closing moments.
"We need to mourn a little bit," Mora said. "We need to get over this one.
"We poured it out there today and we came up short. We'll eventually move on but this will sting for a while."
Hogan completed 16 of 22 passes to beat a fourth ranked opponent in his fourth straight start since unseating Josh Nunes at quarterback. After the Cardinal rolled past UCLA 35-17 last Saturday at the Rose Bowl, it took all 60 minutes for another victory in the rare rematch.
The heavy rain that pounded the Bay Area most of the day relented most of the night. A tarp covered the field until about three hours before kickoff; scattered showers still kept the grass slightly slick.
The surface never seemed to slow down the Bruins, who rushed for 284 yards — including Jonathan Franklin's 194. The most yards rushing Stanford allowed this season had been 198 in an overtime victory at Oregon two weeks ago.
The Cardinal won its seventh straight game to advance to its third different BCS bowl in as many seasons — a run that began behind coach Jim Harbaugh and standout quarterback Luck, the No. 1 overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts in this year's NFL draft.
• Commissioner Larry Scott said the Pac-12 is at an "optimal size" and is unlikely to expand anytime in the "foreseeable future."
While some other conferences pursue further expansion, Scott said Pac-12 members are more than pleased with the current structure.
UCLA — Franklin 51 run (Fairbairn kick), 11:35.
Stan — Hogan 1 run (Williamson kick), 6:07.
UCLA — Hundley 5 run (Fairbairn kick), 3:40.
Stan — Taylor 1 run (Williamson kick), 12:57.
Stan — FG Williamson 37, :00.
UCLA — FG Fairbairn 31, 8:20.
UCLA — Franklin 20 run (Fairbairn kick), 1:04.
Stan — Terrell 26 pass from Hogan (Williamson kick), 11:21.
Stan — FG Williamson 36, 6:49.
A — 31,622.
|Time of Possession||28:45||31:15|
Rushing — UCLA, Franklin 19-194, Hundley 16-83, James 3-7. Stanford, Taylor 24-78, Hogan 11-47, Young 2-31, Hewitt 3-10, Wilkerson 2-5, Team 1-(- 1).
Passing — UCLA, Hundley 23-31-1-177, Team 0-1-0-0. Stanford, Hogan 16-22-0-155, Team 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — UCLA, Fuller 7-42, James 5-37, Franklin 3-22, Evans 2-24, Payton 2-21, Hester 2-9, Fauria 1-17, J.Johnson 1-5. Stanford, Taylor 6-55, Terrell 4-70, Ertz 3-19, Toilolo 1-6, Patterson 1-4, Hewitt 1-1.