STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford coach David Shaw fought back tears. Running back Stepfan Taylor's voice trembled. Linebacker Alex Debniak's eye black smeared all over his face.
In the home locker room at Stanford Stadium late Saturday afternoon, these were not the looks of the losers. Instead, they were the emotions from surviving Senior Day and the possibility of an intriguing opportunity ahead: a chance to host one more game this season.
And they can thank a redshirt freshman and a fortunate fumble for the chance.
Kevin Hogan threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start, and No. 16 Stanford overcame four turnovers to rally past No. 13 Oregon State 27-23 on Saturday and stay in control of its Pac-12 title hopes.
"They came back and made some plays to help us win the game," Shaw said. "Almost Shakespearean, to a certain degree."
Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz fumbled late in the fourth quarter to give the Cardinal (8-2, 6-1) the ball at the Beavers 29. The only Oregon State (7-2, 5-2) turnover turned out to be the difference.
Hogan audibled out of a run and called the play "Special," which Stanford also ran to convert a fourth-and-9 in an overtime win against Arizona earlier this season, and hit tight end Zach Ertz for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 27-23 with 5:07 left.
Now the Cardinal will head to second-ranked Oregon next in what could be a North Division final — if Stanford also beats UCLA in its season finale — for a spot in the conference championship game. Oregon has beaten Stanford the last two seasons.
USC 38, ARIZONA STATE 17: At Los Angeles, Marqise Lee caught 10 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown, Curtis McNeal rushed for 163 yards and two more scores, and No. 21 Southern California bounced back from consecutive losses. Matt Barkley threw for 222 yards and three TDs while becoming the leading passer in conference history for the Trojans.
ARIZONA 56, COLORADO 31: At Tucson, Ariz., Ka'Deem Carey ran for a Pac-12 record 366 yards and scored five touchdowns, powering Arizona.
The sophomore's five rushing TDs tied a conference record.
With Pac-12 leading passer Matt Scott out with a concussion, junior college transfer B.J. Denker completed 12-of-14 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns in his first start for Arizona (6-4, 3-4).