Sun Devils lose 38-14 to Stanford in Pac-12

Arizona State had two main goals in its rematch against

Stanford: Prevent the Cardinal from getting off to a fast start and

playing better on special teams.

The Sun Devils did neither and it cost them a shot at the Rose

Bowl.

Hurt on defense by a slew of big plays and errors on special

teams, No. 11 Arizona State fell flat in the Pac-12 championship

game, losing 38-14 to No. 7 Stanford on Saturday night.

”I really thought we were going to win. I really did,” Arizona

State coach Todd Graham said. ”We made mistakes and it took us a

little long to make adjustments.”

Arizona State (10-3) was able to beat Arizona without leading

rusher and scorer Marion Grice last week, but had trouble getting

much going offensively without him against the Cardinal.

D.J. Foster accounted for 142 total yards and two touchdowns

before a knee injury sidelined him for most of the second half.

Kelly threw for 173 yards and touchdown and was unable create plays

with his legs against Stanford’s containment.

Arizona State gave Stanford good field position because of

mistakes in the kicking game and Zane Gonzalez missed his first

field goal in 19 attempts, likely sending the Sun Devils to the

Holiday or Alamo Bowl instead of Pasadena for the first time since

1997.

”It was a tough loss,” Arizona State tight end Chris Coyle

said. ”Everybody’s dream is to make it to the Rose Bowl, but we’ve

just got to pick up where we left of and get ready for whatever

bowl we get selected for.”

Stanford (11-2) raced out to a big lead Sept. 21 in its first

game with Arizona State this season and had its way with the Sun

Devils again early in the rematch, going up 28-7 early in the

second quarter. Tyler Gaffney, as he has most of the season, did

most of the damage, running for 133 yards and three first-half

touchdowns.

The Cardinal consistently gouged Arizona State’s defense for big

plays all night, racking up 517 yards, including 240 on the

ground.

Kevin Hogan kept the Sun Devils off-balance, throwing for 277

yards and a touchdown. Ty Montgomery added a dash of versatility,

catching a touchdown pass and running for another score.

Stanford’s defense, its calling card under David Shaw and Jim

Harbaugh before him, was dominating again, preventing Taylor Kelly

from making big plays while holding Arizona State’s offense to 311

total yards.

After a seesaw ride into the Pac-12 title game that included a

loss to unranked Utah, the Cardinal are headed back to Pasadena

after a dominating performance.

”This is our goal at the beginning of each year,” Hogan said.

”It is great to meet that goal, but we have one more game to

play.”

Stanford won the first meeting 42-28 by racing out to a big lead

and holding a Sun Devils’ charge.

A lot happened in the 11 weeks since: Arizona State won seven

straight to clinch the Pac-12 South and Stanford won the North

despite losing twice.

The Cardinal got off to another fast start in the rematch:

Gaffney raced 69 yards down the sideline for a touchdown that

turned the raucous crowd inside Sun Devil Stadium nearly

silent.

The Sun Devils had a quick counterpunch this time, scoring on

their fifth play when Foster charged through up the middle for a

51-yard touchdown, eclipsing Arizona State’s entire rushing total

(50) from the first meeting.

But Stanford followed with a series of body blows, churning out

big plays behind its massive offensive line.

Gaffney scored on a 1-yard run after Hogan hit Jordan Pratt on

35-yard pass. Montgomery scored on the first play of the second

quarter, racing in 22 yards on an end-around after Hogan connected

on a 42-yard pass to Devon Cajuste. A 29-yard run by Anthony

Wilkerson set up Foster’s third TD, a fourth-down dive that put the

Cardinal up 28-7 early in the second quarter.

”We said all week not to let them make big plays and we didn’t

do that,” Arizona State safety Alden Darby said. ”We gave up

three bombs to let them score and that set the tone.”

Arizona State finally showed signs of life late in the quarter,

when Foster broke a tackle and turned a swing pass into a 65-yard

touchdown that cut the lead to 28-14.

The Sun Devils had a couple of scoring chances in the third

quarter and came up empty.

Zane Gonzalez ended his school-record streak of made field goals

18 by missing a 31-yarder and Stanford’s Zach Hoffpauir came off

the corner to stuff De’Marieya Nelson on fourth-and-goal on Arizona

State’s second attempt from the 1.

Stanford put it out of reach thanks to another big play early in

the fourth quarter. Hogan hit Cajuste on a 78-yard pass, then found

Montgomery on a 24-yard touchdown throw to put the Cardinal up

38-14 and headed back to the Rose Bowl.