Stanford-Arizona State preview; Pac-12 title on the line

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

No. 7 Stanford (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) at No. 11 Arizona State (10-2, 8-1), 5:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Arizona State by 3.

Series Record: Arizona State leads 16-12.

What's at stake
The Pac-12 Championship will be a rematch of a regular-season game and determine the Pac-12's spot in the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal, the defending Rose Bowl champion, won the previous meeting 42-28 after racing out to a 29-0 halftime lead and holding off a late charge by the Sun Devils. Arizona State hasn't been to the Rose Bowl since 1997.

Key matchup
Arizona State's third-down defense against Stanford's third-down offense. When the Cardinal have won this season, they've been superb at converting third downs, ranking 10th nationally, converting first downs at a rate of 52 percent. Arizona State is one of the top teams in the nation at forcing three-and-out and needs to force Stanford into third-and-long situations to make it tougher to convert.

Players to watch
Stanford: RB Tyler Gaffney. The senior ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns in the first game against Arizona State and has gotten better as the season has progressed. Gaffney has over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past seven games.

Arizona State: DT Will Sutton. Physical and quick, Sutton became the second player to repeat as the conference's defensive player of the year despite facing near constant double teams most of the season. The senior has gotten better as the season has progressed, dominating the line of scrimmage and becoming more of a vocal leader for the Sun Devils.

Facts & figures
Arizona State went 7-0 at Sun Devil Stadium this season, the first time since 2004 it finished undefeated at home. ... Stanford has won its last nine games against Top-25 opponents. ... Arizona State K Zane Gonzalez needs three field goals to tie Kai Forbarth's NCAA freshman record of 25. He has made 18 straight, a school record. ... The Cardinal joined Alabama and Oregon as the only FBS teams with at least 10 wins in each of the last four seasons. ... The Sun Devils scored 50 points six times this season, including last week against Arizona, to break the school record set in 1973. ... Kevin Hogan completed 11 of 17 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns to Ty Montgomery in Stanford's win over ASU earlier this season.