STANFORD -- With the fourth quarter about to begin and UCLA leading Stanford 24-17 in the Pac-12 championship game, the Bruins gathered on their sideline and bounced up and down with excitement.
Not Stanford. Not Kevin Hogan.
"We kind of looked across the field, and they were really riled up," Hogan said. "We knew we just had to stay calm and play our style of football."
Less than four minutes later, Hogan threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Drew Terrell to even the score, and Stanford was on its way to the Rose Bowl.
"He's an impressive kid," UCLA coach Jim Mora said after the No. 8 Cardinal's 27-24 victory at Stanford Stadium on Friday night. "He's very poised. He's careful with the ball. He makes good decisions when he's on the move."
John Elway never did this. Neither did Andrew Luck. But in his first four college starts, redshirt freshman Hogan has led Stanford to victory over four consecutive top-25 opponents.
"It's been a good month," Hogan said.
Hogan earned game MVP honors after running for one touchdown and throwing for another as the Cardinal (11-2) earned its first trip to the Rose Bowl in 13 years.
"As a runner or as a thrower or making checks at the line of scrimmage, he deserved that MVP for that game," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "A couple times he put us on his shoulders. I'm so proud of him."
Since becoming Stanford's starter, Hogan has contributed to wins over No. 13 Oregon State, No.
It only happened because Hogan delivered the biggest play of the night on a third-and-15 play from the UCLA 32.
The Cardinal sent four receivers deep, with tight end Zach Ertz crossing underneath. The safety bit, following Ertz, and Terrell sped down the right sideline toward the end zone.
"That's what Zach Ertz does. He makes a lot of plays where the safety jumps Zach on the inside," Shaw said. "Drew made a great release and ran fast and Kevin held onto the ball to hold the safety inside as long as he could."
Mora called it "a busted coverage at a very inopportune time," but Hogan still had to deliver a a perfect throw.
"A great throw, good catch, a huge play for us," Shaw said.
The touchdown, with 11:21 left, tied it at 24-all. Stanford went in front on its next possession when Jordan Williamson kicked a 36-yard field goal.
The constant throughout was Hogan's steady play. He scored Stanford's first touchdown on a 1-yard bootleg around left end when the entire UCLA defense went for the fake handoff to Stepfan Taylor.
Hogan completed 16 of 22 passes for 155 yards, ran for 47 yards and presided over a Stanford offense that played turnover-free ball on a sloppy field.
"Kevin's still growing. We're excited about his progress, his ceiling's very high," Shaw said. "Kevin didn't play perfectly today, but boy when we need a play, he makes it."