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
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
”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
The Cardinal consistently gouged Arizona State’s defense for big
plays all night, racking up 517 yards, including 240 on the
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
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
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
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.