Stanford Top 10 moments: No. 3

December, 23, 2011
12/23/11
4:00
PM ET
With one game left to play we're taking a look back at some of the memorable moments/series of moments from Stanford's 2011 season. Some were individual plays, others were a series of plays or games as a whole that were significant to the season.

No. 3: RUNNING BACKS GONE WILD

Setting the scene: The first 18 minutes of Stanford's home game against Washington started off like a pinball game between running backs. Washington's Chris Polk broke off touchdown runs of 46 and 61 yards. Stepfan Taylor answered with a 70-yard touchdown scamper. Then one team hit the accelerator while the other one ran out of gas.

Why it's memorable: Given the history of Stanford football, any time a record is set, it's significant. The Cardinal rushed for a school-record 446 yards. And do you know how many negative rushing yards they had? Zero.

Taylor ran for 138 yards and a score. Tyler Gaffney had 117 yards and a touchdown -- marking the 10th time in school history two players had run for at least 100 yards in the same game. Anthony Wilkerson had 93 yards and two touchdowns -- including the 38-yard touchdown run that pushed Stanford beyond the previous mark of 439 yards, set in 1981 against Oregon State. Jeremy Stewart opened the scoring with a short-yardage score. The offensive line feasted on Washington's defensive front and the backs ran crazy.

Head coach David Shaw tells the story that when Andrew Luck came off the field with a little more than nine minutes left in the game, he told his coach that he had just played the best game of his career. He was 16-of-21 for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Not exactly monster numbers. But Luck put his offense in the right formations 100 percent of the time to avoid negative plays and the running backs reaped the rewards to the tune of a 65-21 victory against the Huskies.

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