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Instant Analysis: Stanford 45, Maryland 21

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2Q STAN C. McCaffrey run for 22 yds for a 1ST down (0:58)

Christian McCaffrey run for 22 yds to the Mary 20 for a 1ST down (0:58)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Stanford finished the season with a resounding 45-21 victory over Maryland, and that pushed the Cardinal to an 8-5 final record in 2014. Here is the rundown of the Foster Farms Bowl:

How the game was won: Stanford executed its formula and overwhelmed Maryland. The Cardinal were the biggest favorite of all teams playing this bowl season, and it was easy to see why that was the case on this chilly, windy night at Levi's Stadium. Stanford's balanced offensive attack hit Maryland with production on the ground (44 carries, 205 yards, 4.7 per carry) and through the air, as Kevin Hogan connected with seven different receivers in his efficient performance.

Meanwhile, Stanford's defense delivered one of its vintage efforts. The starters held Maryland to just 3.3 yards per play.

Game ball goes to: Hogan. The senior quarterback battled through plenty of adversity during this up-and-down season. He saved his best performances for the final two games. Hogan's final line this time: 14-for-20, 189 yards, two touchdowns and 50 yards rushing. Stanford roasted Maryland on play-action, especially when Hogan targeted redshirt freshman tight end Austin Hooper in the seam.

It was over when: Judging by the way it played out, this one might have been over when this bowl match-up was announced. Coming into this game, Stanford was 6-0 against unranked teams, and it had won those games by an average of about 25 points. Maryland, of course, was unranked, and it had a similar fate awaiting them.

No matter their offensive struggles this season, the Cardinal owned games in which they had a distinct physical advantage. That was the case Tuesday night, when Stanford raced to a 28-7 lead and never looked back in a dominant performance.

Stat of the game: Christian McCaffrey's 138 all-purpose yards. The true freshman running back was explosive all over the field for Stanford (8.1 yards per carry), and 81 of his yards came on punt returns -- that broke the Foster Farms Bowl record in that category. Sure, that number isn't particularly staggering, but McCaffrey's performance is a huge reason for optimism for Stanford when coach David Shaw begins planning for 2015.

Best play: McCaffrey's electric 22-yard run in the second quarter featured a broken tackle in the backfield, a sprint across the field, and an aggressive block from Hogan. Yup, the quarterback was leading the way for the freshman running back downfield.