Stanford earned a trip to the Rose Bowl by twice coming from behind to defeat the Bruins for the second time in as many weeks. The Cardinal downed UCLA 35-17 to close out the regular season and they wound up meeting again in the league's title contest.
UCLA twice had the momentum and appeared set for what would have been a huge upset, but Stanford came back both times to earn the New Year's Day appearance in Pasadena, Calif.
The Bruins' last hope to extend the game died when freshman Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 51-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds.
UCLA owned a 14-7 lead in the second quarter and was moving again when Stanford's Ed Reynolds intercepted a pass thrown by Brett Hundley and ran it back 80 yards to the Bruins' 1-yard line.
Stepfan Taylor scored from there to tie the game and Jordan Williamson kicked a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter to give Stanford a 17-14 halftime lead.
UCLA came back, however, with a 10-point third quarter and regained the lead when Jonathan Franklin ran 20 yards for a score with 64 seconds to go in the period.
Stanford then drove 63 yards in 10 plays and tied it again on a 26-yard throw from Kevin Hogan to Drew Terrell. Williamson's winning field goal came 5 minutes later.
Hogan completed 16-of-22 passes for 153 yards without an interception to lead Stanford, which will take an 11-2 record into the Rose Bowl against either Nebraska or Wisconsin.
Hundley threw for 179 yards without a touchdown and Franklin gained 201 yards on 18 carries with two scores. UCLA fell to 9-4.