Sept. 18, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Continuing a week filled with awards, Stanford senior running back Stepfan Taylor was today named the Maxwell Award Player of the Week, after he led Stanford to a nationally acclaimed 21-14 victory over then-No. 2 USC. Taylor will conclude his storied Cardinal career with a perfect 4-0 record against Stanford's longtime Southern California rival.
In Saturday's come-from-behind victory, Stanford twice trailed in the game and twice received remarkable plays from Taylor to even the score. His 59-yard touchdown run in the first quarter put the Cardinal on the board, and his 23-yard screen pass reception for a touchdown in the third quarter changed the momentum of the game.
Taylor's 213 offensive yards (153 rushing, 60 receiving) were a career high. The senior tailback ran stronger as the game went on, with 11 fourth-quarter carries that averaged 4.1 yards. Of his 27 rushes in the game, none were stopped for a loss.
"Stepfan showed the nation what we already know - he's not only a dependable running back but also a gamebreaker. He can make plays in the running game and passing game which can break open a football game," said Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw. "Stepfan is a great pass protector, a great teammate, and you can see why our players voted him as a team captain."
On his first-quarter 59-yard touchdown run, which made two defenders miss and then ran away from the USC defense, Taylor broke through the 3,000-yard career mark. Just three games into his senior season, Taylor has amassed 3,108 rushing yards for third place all-time at Stanford. Just three games into his senior season, Taylor trails second-place Toby Gerhart by 414 yards and first-place Darrin Nelson by 925 yards.
The Maxwell Award is presented annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the Collegiate Player of the Year and has twice been won by a Stanford player. Jim Plunkett first won in 1970, and Andrew Luck this past season won the Maxwell Award in 2011. The Maxwell Award Player of the Week is selected by the Maxwell Football Club national selection committee.
Stepfan Taylor and the No. 9 ranked Stanford Cardinal lead the Pac-12 standings (1-0) and play their next conference game on the road at the University of Washington on Sept. 27, a Thursday night game televised nationally on ESPN.
Three regular season home games remain for the Cardinal at Stanford Stadium this season - Oct. 6 versus Arizona, Oct. 27 versus Washington State and Nov. 10 versus Oregon State - and tickets may be purchased online at GoStanford.com, at the ticket office or by calling 800-STANFORD. The Cardinal Collectible Mini Plan guarantees seats for all three games and includes an Andrew Luck bobblehead, starting at $99.