NCAA

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

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

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.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report