Player of the week: Pac-12

Stanford’s offense got back to playing Stanford football in Saturday’s win over UCLA. And that means pounding the football in the running game.

Cue running back Tyler Gaffney, who rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries in the 24-10 win over No. 9 UCLA -- a performance he described as “a cloud of dust and blood.”

With the victory, the Cardinal are now No. 6 in the BCS standings and are the highest-ranked of all the one-loss teams. They are also ahead of five undefeated teams.

With the Cardinal defense shutting down the Bruins, the offense looked to Gaffney to eat up yards in chunks and suck time off the clock. His first score, a 1-yard touchdown run, came on the heels of a Jordan Richards interception that put the Cardinal ahead 17-3. He added his second late in the game from 4 yards out. The Bruins were calling timeouts to try and stop the clock, but Gaffney just kept converting first downs.

In total, Gaffney picked up 10 of Stanford’s 11 first downs via the run and five times he converted on third down.

“If we can stay on the clock and run the ball with efficiency, we have a chance to do what we want to do, which is run the ball between the tackles,” said Stanford head coach David Shaw. “Gaffney is at 220 pounds, we tried to spell him with three other running backs, and he looked at me in the fourth quarter, he said ‘Coach I ain't tired'. I said 'We're not taking you out anymore.' We left him in there to finish the game.”