Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - December 27, 2013

Stanford has rare opportunity at a second straight victory

For only the second time in school history, Stanford football will be playing for a second straight victory in the Rose Bowl.

The first time, of course, came in the 1971 and '72 games as quarterbacks Jim Plunkett and Don Bunce helped lead Stanford to victories. Now, Kevin Hogan has an opportunity to become the first quarterback in program history to win back-to-back games.

Here's a look at the games where Stanford played in consecutive Rose Bowls:

1934: Columbia 7, Stanford 0

This game continues to be regarded as one of the greatest upsets in Rose Bowl history as heavily-favored Stanford was beaten on a trick play.

Torrential rains soaked the field for three days leading into the game, limiting attendance to 35,000. In all, 12 inches of rain fell on Pasadena in the 48 hours before the Rose Parade, themed appropriately as "Tales of the Seven Seas."

1935: Alabama 29, Stanford 13

A rematch of the 1927 showdown, Stanford and Alabama again arrived undefeated. Stanford's Vow Boys were good, but Alabama featured one of the great ends of all-time, Don Hutson, the future Green Bay Packers star.

The Crimson Tide's other end was "Bear" Bryant, who had been inspired to play in a Rose Bowl after listening to the 1927 game on the radio.

Stanford scored first on Bobby Grayson's short run, but Hutson caught two long touchdown passes to help the Crimson Tide bolt to a 22-7 halftime lead.

1936: Stanford 7, SMU 0

The Vow Boys finally got their Rose Bowl victory, using a one-yard run by Bill Paulman and a strong defensive effort to beat the undefeated Mustangs from Dallas.

The interest in the game, especially from Texas, was so great that an attendance record of 84,784 was set, and there were ticket requests for 200,000 more.

This also marked the end of Stanford's three consecutive Rose Bowl berths, a record for Stanford.

1971: Stanford 27, Ohio State 17

A massive underdog to undefeated Ohio State, a three-loss Stanford team surprised the Buckeyes behind the play of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jim Plunkett and a defensive front seven called the Thunder Chickens.

Ohio State led 17-14 in the fourth quarter and tried to put the game away on a fourth-down run, but fullback John Brockington was stopped by Rod Kadziel.

Stanford drove downfield, with the help of a 35-yard pass to tight end Bob Moore on third-and-15, to take the lead. After an interception by Jack Schultz, Plunkett hit Randy Vataha for the clinching score.

The victory was Stanford's first in a Rose Bowl in 30 years.

1972: Stanford 13, Michigan 12

For the second consecutive season, Stanford beat an undefeated Big Ten power. This time, it was Rod Garcia's 31-yard field goal with 12 seconds left that won the game. Michigan came in as a 10-point favorite against another three-loss Stanford team.

Coach John Ralston's Indians (the nickname would change to Cardinal by the following season) again featured a strong defensive effort, which made up for the team's four lost fumbles.

Don Bunce, a fifth-year senior in his only season as a starter, completed all five passes during the winning touchdown drive.

2013: Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14

Stanford earned its first Rose Bowl victory in 41 years by taking an early lead and letting its defense take over.

Ben Gardner made a big stop on a Wisconsin fourth-and-goal attempt at the 1-yard line and Usua Amanam clinched the victory with a late interception.

2014: Stanford vs. Michigan State (?)

It will be a matchup of similar styles in what is expected to be a low-scoring game. As Sports Illustrated noted in its annual bowl game preview: "First team to 10 wins."

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