Stanford senior tight end Zach Ertz was selected Friday by the Philadelphia Eagles with the third pick in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
It’s been a while since the Cardinal has come out on top in the Granddaddy of Them All—41 years to be exact. Tomorrow on New Year’s Day, No. 6 Stanford (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12) finally has the chance to end that drought as it squares off against Wisconsin (8-5, 4-4 Big Ten) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
There was a point in mid-October when Stanford’s goal of claiming the Pac-12 crown seemed a world away. The Cardinal was coming off a tough overtime loss to Notre Dame, a result that was decided by one of the more controversial calls in college football this season. The Fighting Irish had handed the Cardinal its second loss of the year and the once vivid memory of its upset over USC back in late September was fading fast in the rearview mirror. With a host of ranked opponents still left on the grueling backend of its schedule, the outlook on Stanford’s postseason fate at the midpoint of the season was far less sunny than Pasadena.
Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason and five Cardinal defenders held sessions with the media on Thursday before the team began practices for Tuesday’s Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.
On a wet night at Stanford Stadium, Stanford quarterback Hogan did just enough on offense and Shaw put his faith in Jordan Williamson, who delivered a game-winning 36-yard field goal with five minutes left in the fourth quarter to break a 24-24 tie with UCLA and send Stanford to the Rose Bowl as Pac-12 champions, something Harbaugh or Luck couldn’t do.