How the game was won: Stanford exited "6-5 underachiever" territory and morphed into "we're the two-time defending Pac-12 champion" mode. Maybe playing at the Rose Bowl reminded them of their good offensive twin. David Shaw and Mike Bloomgren assembled a perfect game plan that put quarterback Kevin Hogan's strengths on full display. The Cardinal finally delivered a balanced offensive performance against a Top 25 team (234 pass yards, 202 rush yards), and their defense did its normal stifling job, holding UCLA to a season-worst 3.9 yards per play.
Game ball goes to: Hogan. It has been a rough season, but he was sensational. Hogan completed his first 12 passes and finished 16-for-19 for 234 yards, two touchdowns and a spectacular 224.4 quarterback rating. The Cardinal set the post-Thanksgiving table for Hogan beautifully, allowing him to find a rhythm early by running on his own (seven carries, 46 yards) and throwing to tight ends. He then burned UCLA downfield.
What it means: Stanford, the two-time defending Pac-12 North champion, has successfully played spoiler and eliminated UCLA from Pac-12 South title contention. This was its seventh consecutive win against the Bruins, the longest UCLA losing streak against any program. UCLA finishes its regular season 9-3, and the Cardinal has partially salvaged a disappointing year, entering bowl season at 7-5.
Top play: Hogan's 37-yard touchdown pass to Devon Cajuste in the second quarter gave Stanford a 21-10 lead. The two-possession advantage was critical for the Cardinal defense, which used the cushion to lock down the Bruins with suffocating sideline-to-sideline play and a ferocious pass rush.
What's next: The Pac-12 title game is no longer in the cards for the Bruins, and bowl destinations are yet to be determined.