The first half of Saturday’s Pac-12 title game between No. 7 Stanford and No. 11 Arizona State looked at lot like the last time these two teams played.
Way back on Sept. 27, the Cardinal jumped out to a 29-0 first-half lead on their way to a 42-28 victory over the Sun Devils.
This time around, Stanford took a 28-7 lead but couldn’t quite deliver the knockout blow, as ASU kept close and went into the break down, 28-14.
The often-sputtering Cardinal offense looked sharp, totaling 301 yards and 13 touchdowns. Tyler Gaffney already has his ninth 100-yard game of the year with 107 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. His 69-yard touchdown run on the game’s second play opened the scoring. Kevin Hogan was 7 of 12 for 106 yards and also added 33 yards on seven carries.
Outside of a couple big plays by D.J. Foster, ASU’s offense looked like it was not ready for prime time. Foster’s 51-yard touchdown run evened the score early in the first quarter and his 65-yard catch and run of a Taylor Kelly pass gave the Sun Devils hope (those were the two longest plays against Stanford this year, by the way), but ASU will need to step it up a notch in the second half. The last time the two teams played, the Sun Devils scored 28 second-half points, so there’s a chance they could make a game of it yet.
But if ASU can’t stop Gaffney, it’s in for a long night. If nothing changes, Stanford will be heading to its second-straight Rose Bowl.