Gaffney named MVP following Pac-12 championship victory

Tyler Gaffney missed last year's Rose Bowl appearance as he was playing professional baseball. He made sure he wasn't going to miss it this year.

Gaffney rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns and the seventh-ranked Stanford football team beat host Arizona State, 38-14, Saturday to qualify for its second straight trip to Pasadena.

The Cardinal (11-2) will face Michigan State, which last reached the Rose Bowl in 1988. The Spartans knocked off No. 2 Ohio State, 34-24, to win the Big Ten Conference

Stanford coach David Shaw became the first coach since John Ralston in 1970-71 to take teams to the Rose Bowl in consecutive years.

The 100th Rose Bowl will feature Stanford's 14th visit. It's also the fifth straight year the Cardinal has played in a bowl game, easily the longest streak in school history.

"When things get tough or when people say they can't do it, they don't care," Shaw said. "They put their heads down and kept working."

Gaffney took over the No. 2 spot on Stanford's all-time single-season rushing list. He has 1,618 yards, moving ahead of Stepfan Taylor's 1,530 yards.

Gaffney lost two yards on the first play from scrimmage and the Cardinal was tagged with a 5-yard penalty before Gaffney broke loose for a 69-yard touchdown run that set the tempo for the Cardinal.

"We had some downs this year, but we love each other," Gaffney said. "Being here makes it all worth it."

Ty Montgomery caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. He also ran 22 yards for another score.

Devon Cajuste caught two passes for 120 yards, including a 78-yard reception that all but clinched Stanford's spot in Pasadena.

Kevin Hogan passed for 277 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinal won its third straight since losing at USC.

Jordan Pratt, the 28-year-old wide receiver, caught three key passes in the first half for 56 yards as Stanford gained 517 total offensive yards.

Linebacker Shayne Skov had nine tackles, eight solo, and the Stanford defense kept the Sun Devils off the scoreboard in the second half.

Arizona State (10-3) missed a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter and was stopped short of the goal line on another drive.

Stanford has allowed fewer than 30 points in each of its last 22 games.

Gaffney scored on a 1-yard run after Hogan hit 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 Cajuste.

A 29-yard run by Anthony Wilkerson set up Gaffney's third TD, a fourth-down dive that put the Cardinal up 28-7 early in the second quarter.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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