Stanford Top 10 moments: No. 1

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.

We're down to No. 1. The envelope please ...


Setting the scene: A pick-six. Devastating. With the Cardinal and USC locked in a 27-27 tie with 3:45 left in the game, Andrew Luck appeared poised to drive his team down the field on a game-winning drive. But Nickell Robey had other plans when he intercepted Luck on a third-and-3 at the Stanford 33 and returned it for a touchdown.

A loss would have meant the end of Stanford's winning streak and -- at the time -- its contention for the national championship. But that's not how it went down. What happened in the next 3:03 and ensuing three overtimes is the stuff that will forever make Luck a Stanford legend.

Why it's memorable: Luck went up and down the Stanford sideline and assured everyone that the game wasn't over. He completed 4 of 6 passes and rushed for 16 yards on the eventual game-tying drive that knotted the score at 34-34, ending with a 2-yard Stepfan Taylor run.

In overtime, Luck was 3-for-3 for 27 yards and a touchdown, he rushed for 13 yards and completed a 2-point conversion to Coby Fleener.

Luck was remarkably cool after throwing the interception. A lot of quarterbacks would have crumbled under the weight of their own mistake. But Luck didn't. He didn't get overly excited when the Cardinal took the lead in the first overtime, and he didn't get overly down when they fell behind in the second overtime. He was cool and relaxed and his teammates fed off of that.

On his 11-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo, he placed it on the outside shoulder -- almost out of bounds -- where only his long, 6-foot-8 tight end could get it.

And on the 2-point conversion, he looked off all of the defenders to his right and then placed a perfect pass to his left to Fleener.

In one of the most thrilling games in Stanford history -- an eventual 56-48 triple-overtime victory -- Luck secured his Stanford legacy with grace and composure.