Stanford's Taylor, Gardner named Pac-12 Players of the Week

September 18, 2012, 7:06 am
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Senior running back Stepfan Taylor and senior defensive end Ben Gardner have been named Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, following Stanfords 21-14 victory over USC on Saturday.

RELATED: No. 21 Stanford upsets No. 2 USC 21-14

Taylor recorded a career-high 213 all-purpose yards (153 rushing, 60 receiving) and two touchdowns, leading Stanford over then-No. 2 USC.

Twice the Cardinal trailed USC in the game, and each time Taylor answered with a game-changing play. His 59-yard touchdown run, making two defenders miss and then running away from the Trojans defense, put Stanford on the board in the first quarter. Taylor's 23-yard catch-and-run in the final seconds of the third quarter changed the momentum of the game, taking a screen pass and slipping through four tackles into the end zone.
Taylor's 153 rushing yards tied his second-highest career game (at Arizona - Sept. 17, 2011) and trailed only his 177 yards in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl. Taylor on his first-quarter touchdown run broke the career 3,000-yard rushing mark.

Gardner led an inspired Stanford defensive performance that held USC to 26 total yards rushing and Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley without a passing touchdown, en route to the Cardinal's fourth consecutive victory against their Southern California rival. Among his six total tackles, Gardner recorded 3.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback sack to lead the overall defensive effort of 12.0 tackles for loss and four sacks against USC.

The Trojans were held scoreless by Gardner and the Cardinal defense for the final 41 minutes of the game. After halftime, the Stanford defense knocked back USC with minus-13 total rushing yards and four three-and-outs in six possessions.

Stanford Director of Football Administration Mike Eubanks, contributed to this report.

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